Cancer understandably affects more than your physical health. It impedes your psychological well-being as well. Making it necessary for us to develop an approach to comprehensive cancer care that addresses all aspects of your needs in a convenient location. Our multidisciplinary team of professionals collaborate to provide all the services you will need to achieve…
Cervical Cancer Treatment and Prevention
Cervical cancer is a type of vaginal cancer that can be caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). With modern medicine and preventive care like the HPV vaccination, women don’t need cervical cancer treatment nearly as often as they did in the past. However, the treatment is still vital for many women. Several screening tests are available to detect pre-cancerous lesions or actual cancers at an early stage when they are easily treatable. This article will review everything you need to know about cervical cancer: prevention, signs to look for, and available treatment options.
Understanding cervical cancer
Cervical cancer is a disease that progresses slowly over a period of many years. It occurs when abnormal cells in the cervix grow and spread to other body parts. The abnormal cells grow when cells in the cervix begin to change and multiply out of control. These changes can progress over time to become cervical cancers if not detected early on.
Cervical cancer prevention
It is becoming easier to prevent cervical cancer with regular testing and vaccination. The most common form of cervical cancer begins as the pre-cancerous condition HPV. What makes HPV so dangerous to young women is that it is the most commonly transmitted STI (sexually transmitted infection) in the United States, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. In addition to causing cervical cancer, HPV that is left untreated can also lead to cancer of the throat, vulva, vagina, or anus. Smoking also increases the risk of HPV.
The HPV vaccine is recommended for young ladies ages 11-12, but it provides effective outcomes even when given to a woman up to age 26. This vaccine prevents a person from getting HPV and helps prevent cervical cancer. Using protection such as a condom during intercourse can also prevent the spread of this infection. Even if a young girl plans to remain abstinent, it is still recommended for her to receive the vaccine in the event someone takes advantage of her.
Cervical cancer screening
Women should be screened for HPV and cervical cancer every three years, starting at age 21. A Pap smear, or smear test, is used to detect cervical cancer, and an HPV test can also be performed as extra protection. In addition to having an HPV test every five years, women should also receive one when they become pregnant. Suppose one of these tests comes back with abnormal results. In that case, the doctor may recommend a colposcopy (an in-depth cervix, vagina, and vulva test) to more closely examine the cervix and vagina for signs of infection or disease.
Cervical cancer signs
The signs of cervical cancer may vary depending on the woman’s cancer stage. Bleeding after intercourse, between periods, or after a pelvic exam are common symptoms of cervical cancer. Once a woman has reached menopause, bleeding should not occur and may be a clear sign of cervical cancer. Pain during intercourse, pelvic pain, unusual or foul-smelling vaginal discharge, and heavier or longer-than-usual periods are all common symptoms.
According to the American Cancer Society, around 14,100 cases of invasive cervical cancer will be diagnosed, and around 4,280 women will die from cervical cancer in 2022. Thankfully, a doctor can help to detect and treat cervical cancer in its earliest stages.
Cervical cancer treatment options
Surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy are all options for cervical cancer treatment. Surgery can remove the tumor or a portion of the patient’s cervix (the lower part of the uterus). Radiation therapy uses high-energy beams of radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Chemotherapy uses medications to stop tumor growth and keep new tumors from forming in other parts of the patient’s body.
The chosen treatment will depend on the individual patient and the stage and location of the cancer. In some cases, the doctor may recommend the patient have one or more types of treatment at once. This is called combination therapy or multimodality therapy. Combination therapy may serve as a more effective cervical cancer treatment option for those whose disease is further along.
Learn more today
Cervical cancer is a serious and potentially fatal disease that needs to be treated as soon as possible. To learn more about receiving the HPV vaccination, getting tested for cervical cancer and HPV, or receiving cervical cancer treatment, we invite you to schedule an appointment with our office today. We can provide you with the best preventive techniques and effective cervical cancer treatment options.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with Lindenberg Cancer & Hematology Center, request an appointment in our Marlton office here: https://lindenbergcancer.com. Or call us at (856) 475-0876.
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