Cervical cancer is the fourth most prevalent cancer among women and the eighth-most common cancer in the general population. There are 436.76 million women in India aged 15 and up who may incur cervical cancer. 122844 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year, with 67,477 dying (estimates for 2012).
If you or a loved one suspects symptoms of cervical cancer, seek immediate medical advice from a specialist, such as Dr. P.K.Das, the best cervical cancer doctor in Delhi, for the proper treatment, attention, and assistance.
Cervical cancer occurs due to changes (mutations) in the DNA of a healthy cervix. Cancer originates in the cervix cells, which are the lower part of the uterus and are connected. Usually, healthy cells develop and replicate at a predetermined rate before dying at a predetermined period.
Whereas in the case of cervical cancer, the mutations that occur in the cancer cells cause them to increase and reproduce uncontrollably, and they do not perish. These cells then work towards accumulating and forming a mass (tumor). Cancer cells can infiltrate adjacent tissues and break out from cancer to spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body.
Although the exact cause of cervical cancer is unknown, HPV is known to play a role.
There are three main categories of cervical cancer. Depending on the results in the lab, a cancer specialist in Delhi NCR will place it in the following categories:
The most common type of cervical cancer is the exocervix (the outermost part of the cervix) is covered with squamous cells. 90% of cervical cancers belong to this category.
This type of cancer develops from the gland cells present within the cervix. These cells are usually present in the endocervix region (the beginning of the cervix) and mucus release.
This form of cancer involves a combination of squamous cells and adenocarcinomas. They are rarer in comparison to the above two forms.
Once the presence of cervical cancer is confirmed, the patient will have to visit a specialist. At this juncture, one should consider visiting the best cervical cancer doctor in Delhi, Dr. PK Das, to understand the next step.
These options include:
The best medical oncologists in Delhi may also have more advanced treatment options like targeted therapy and immunotherapy. However, doctors will recommend a treatment option only after determining which stage of cervical cancer the patient may be in.
Cervical cancer is divided into the following stages depending on the severity and the life expectancy:
The cancer is small in size but may have spread to the lymph nodes. The survival rate in this stage is usually around 95% to 83.5%.
Cancer in this stage may have spread beyond the cervix to surrounding tissue. Around 80.6% of women can survive for 5 years or longer.
The cancer is now in the lower part of the vagina and may be blocking ureters. It is still restricted to the lower part of the body. The survival rate in this stage is around 66.0%.
Finally, cancer will have spread to the lungs, bones, or liver decreasing the survival rate to 37.1%.
Doctors can cure cervical cancer almost completely with a low chance of relapse if found in the first few stages. Therefore, if you wish to undergo a screening test or undergo treatment to best cervical cancer, consider visiting Dr. PK Das, a cervical cancer specialist in Delhi NCR.
Symptoms are common in women with early cervical cancer and pre-cancer. Cervical cancer symptoms will often not appear until cancer has grown large enough to invade adjacent tissue. Women who experience one or more of these symptoms should visit a cancer specialist in Delhi NCR or other oncologists that may be closer to them.
These are the most common signs of cervical cancer:
There are five other significant cervical cancer warning signals that few women are aware of as possible cancer symptoms. These are the warning signs:
The following are some of the indications and symptoms of more advanced disease:
Cervical cancer is more likely to occur in women infected with HPV, but other environmental variables must also be present for cancer to grow. The reason why HPV is linked to cervical cancer is that the virus can remain concealed with the cells of the cervix for a long time. During this time, it may cause the cells to mutate and become cancerous. In addition to HPV, there are several risk factors that women should be aware of that could lead to cervical cancer. These factors include:
Given the fact that cigarettes are loaded with carcinogens (cancer-causing compounds), it is possible that smoking them can cause cervical cancer.
Other than HPV, women are very likely to develop cervical cancer if they are infected with other STIs capable of remaining within the body for a long time. It includes diseases like Chlamydia, syphilis, HIV, or AIDS.
If a woman has several sexual partners living with an existing STI, it increases the risk of contracting an STI. It subsequently increases the chances of getting cervical cancer as well.
Diagnosing cervical cancer tends to be different in comparison to other types of cancer. Because doctors initially determine if the patient is suffering from a pre-cancer or cancer.
A pre-cancer refers to the state of cancer where the cells are in a “transformation zone” and do not contain all the characteristics of cancer cells.
A cancer specialist in Delhi NCR will carry out a screening test called the PAP test to determine whether the mutated cells in the cervix are cancerous or in the pre-cancer stage. A PAP test or a PAP smear involves the collection of cells from the cervix, which are analyzed to find any mutations. For more information, doctors may couple this test with an HPV test.
In case cancerous cells are found, a cervical cancer specialist in Delhi NCR will conduct the following tests:
A device known as colposcopy is used to examine the surface of the cervix. The exam is carried out by first putting a weak acetic acid solution on the abnormal areas of the cervix. If anything unusual is found, a biopsy is taken.
Usually, the confirmatory test is carried out after a PAP smear and a colposcopy. A sample is taken from a region showing abnormalities in the cervix and sent to the lab for analysis.
In addition to this, patients will also undergo imaging studies like CT scans, MRI, PET scans, and more to get a more visual idea of cancer within the patient’s body.
The most effective options for treating cervical cancer include radiotherapy (90.6%) and chemotherapy (85.5%)
In India, around 76% of patients below 50 can live beyond 5 years after diagnosis.
Patients will feel the most pain in the pelvis and the lower back.
PAP tests need to be done at regular intervals, usually starting at age 21. Doctors recommend getting this test done once in three years.