Cervical cancer

Cervical cancer has beaten breast cancer as the leading cause of cancer deaths in women in India; it kills around 33,000 women every year in India. Cervical cancer is known to occur because of a virus called the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) transmitted through sexual contact. Bad local hygiene, too many children, not enough spacing between children, low nutrition levels and early marriage all contribute to the risk factors. The high risk group includes girls who have had premature sex as teenagers, those who have had multiple pregnancies or multiple sex partners and don’t use contraceptives. The disease remains asymptomatic for a long time till it starts invading neighbouring tissues.

Precancerous changes in the cervix may be treated with cryosurgery, laser surgery. Cryosurgery is a method in which a metal probe is cooled with liquid nitrogen and placed directly on the cervix. This freezes the abnormal cells and thus kills them. Laser surgery involved vapourising abnormal cells with a focused laser beam, directed through the vagina. This method is also used to remove a small piece of tissue for study.

The treatment options for women with cervical cancer are surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy or a combination of two or more of these methods. The choice of treatment depends mainly on how big your lesion is, whether your cancer has spread and whether you would like to become pregnant someday. Radical trachelectomy is an option is for women with small tumors who plan a pregnancy later on. It allows them to be treated without losing their ability to have children. The surgeon removes the cervix, part of the vagina and the lymph nodes in the pelvis. Hysterectomy: In total hysterectomy the cervix and uterus are removed. In radical hysterectomy, the cervix, some tissue around the cervix, the uterus and part of the vagina are removed. Women no longer have menstrual periods after a hysterectomy and cannot become pregnant. Menopause occurs at once when the ovaries are removed.

After the treatment have regular check-ups after treatment for cervical cancer. Check-ups may include a physical exam, Pap tests and chest x-rays. Any changes in your health are noted during check-ups and treated if needed. It’s important for you to eat well and stay as active as you can.

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