Cervical cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the cervix. The cervix is the womb's opening that sits at the bottom of the uterus. Cervical cancer is a leading cause of death among women. When something goes wrong in the process of cell growth, it has visible abnormalities, and it is called dysplasia. Dysplasia refers to the level of severity in the change of precancerous cells. It can range from mild to severe and depending on the diagnosis, it is what treatment should follow.
The most common type of cervical cancer is squamous cell carcinoma. It originates from the cells that line the cervix surface and cause abnormal tissue growth. Squamous cell carcinoma is responsible for more than half of all cervical cancer cases. It is usually diagnosed in advanced stages.
Adenocarcinoma accounts for about 30% of cervical cancers, and it begins within the cells that produce mucus in the cervix, which open during menstruation to allow passage of menstrual fluid. Adenocarcinoma forms in the glandular cells of the cervical canal. This type of cancer can also cause abnormal tissue growth.
The least common type of cervical cancer is sarcoma, it begins in the smooth muscle and connective tissues near the cervix. It accounts for only 10% of cervical cancer cases.
The treatment will depend on the type of cancer and the stage it was diagnosed with, but usually includes surgery to remove tumors, radiation therapy (to kill or damage cancer cells), and chemotherapy (drugs that kill cells that divide rapidly). Let's take a look at cervical cancer stages.
Cervical cancer is usually diagnosed in the following stages: Stage 0, stage I, stage II, stage III, and stage IV. In order to identify the exact information for cervical cancer treatment, it is important that women seek a professional opinion from a doctor.
The precise cause of cervical cancer is still unknown, but some studies suggest that infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV) might be a major risk factor. Other factors include:
However, the most common cause is infection with HPV, as it can infect normal as well as cancerous cells.
The best way to prevent the disease is a regular pap smear test. It can diagnose early changes in cervical cells, so treatment can be done before cancer develops. If you have been diagnosed with HPV, it's important to receive proper medical care and follow-up exams to check for any signs of cervical cancer that might appear later on. Although deaths due to cervical cancer have decreased, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Screening is the best way to help reduce the risk of developing cervical cancer.
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