Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the cells of the cervix, the lower part of the uterus. Cervical cancer is the most widespread pathology among malignant tumors diagnosed in women. This type of cancer is the second most common type of cancer in the world after breast cancer.
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Cervical cancer is known to be caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). Human papilloma virus (HPV) is sexually transmitted. A distinction is made between high-risk HPV types for the development of cervical cancer: 16, 18, 31, 33 and low-risk types: 6, 11, which cause the formation of genital warts. The immune system plays an important role in the fight against this virus, and not only with it.
Almost all types of cervical cancer are caused by some type of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. It can often be prevented by cervical screening, which aims to detect and treat cellular changes before they turn into cancerous cells.
In the early stages, cervical cancer usually has no symptoms, which makes it difficult to detect. Symptoms usually begin after the cancer has spread.
When early stage cervical cancer symptoms appear, they may be of the following types:
- vaginal bleeding after intercourse;
- Watery, bloody vaginal discharge, which may be accompanied by a heavy and unpleasant odor;
- Pelvic pain or pain during intercourse.
Advanced symptoms of cervical cancer are:
- Bleeding from the rectum with a bowel movement;
- Difficult or painful urination or blood in the urine;
- back pain
- Swelling of the leg
- Feeling tired.
Cervical cancer begins when cervical cells develop changes (mutations) in their DNA. A cell's DNA contains instructions that tell the cell what to do.
Healthy cells grow and multiply at a fixed rate, eventually breaking down and dying. Mutated cells constantly grow and multiply uncontrollably, which then no longer die. Accumulated pathological cells form a mass (tumor). Cancer cells invade nearby tissues and can spread (metastasize) to different areas of the body.
It is not known what causes cervical cancer, but the papilloma virus HPV plays the biggest role in causing it. Other factors such as environment or lifestyle also determine the development of cervical cancer.
Types of cervical cancer
The main types of cervical cancer are:
- Squamous cell carcinoma. This type of cervical cancer begins as thin, flat cells (squamous cells) on the outside of the cervix that protrude into the vagina. Most cervical cancers are squamous cell carcinomas.
- Adenocarcinoma. This type of cervical cancer begins with the formation of columnar glandular cells that line the cervical canal.
- Sometimes both types of cells are involved in the spread of cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer risk factors
Risk factors for cervical cancer include:
- Multiple sexual partners. The more sexual partners you have, the more likely you are to acquire HPV.
- Early sexual activity. Having sex at an early age increases the risk of HPV.
- Other sexually transmitted infections (STDs). Other STDs – such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and HIV/AIDS – increase the risk of HPV.
- Weakened immune system.
- smoke. Smoking is associated with squamous cell cancer of the cervix.
- Effects of prophylactic drugs on spontaneous abortion.
To reduce the risk of cervical cancer:
Getting the vaccine to prevent HPV infection can reduce the risk of developing cervical and other HPV-related cancers. Consult with a medical specialist and determine whether the HPV vaccine is necessary.
You can also reduce your risk of developing cervical cancer through screening tests and vaccinations that protect against HPV infection.
Screening tests can help detect cervical cancer and precancerous cells. Most guidelines suggest screening for cervical cancer and precancerous changes at 21 years of age.
Screening tests include a Pap test (PAP) and an HPV DNA test.
The Pap test looks for precancerous cells, while the HPV test looks for a virus that can cause normal cells to degenerate into precancerous cells.
Reduce your risk of developing cervical cancer by avoiding sexually transmitted infections, such as using a condom every time you have sex and reducing the number of sexual partners you have.
The following procedures are used to diagnose cervical cancer:
- Colposcopy is an examination of the vagina and cervix, for which a special microscope - colposcope is used. A colposcope is an endoscopic instrument that allows the doctor to take a close look at the cervix and identify existing pathologies.
- Biopsy – A biopsy is a procedure in which a sample of tissue is removed from the cervix so that a pathologist can look at it under a microscope to check for signs of cancer. The following types of biopsies are used to check for cervical cancer: puncture biopsy, needle biopsy, endocervical curettage, cone biopsy, and loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP).
- Tests and procedures used to determine the stage of cervical cancer.
- laboratory tests.
- Visual sorting.
To determine the diagnostics of cervical cancer, it is necessary to visit a doctor. Laboratory diagnostics also play a crucial role in the diagnostics.
- In Synevo, you can perform screening tests, which perform laboratory diagnostics of the disease more efficiently and quickly than measles.
- Please note: a special brush and vial are required to take a smear from the cervix, as well as a referral form, which you can pick up at our branches. The research material should be taken by a professional.
if you want HPV Infection diagnostics, monitoring and cervical cancer screening, Laboratory "Synevo" offers the following tests:
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