Cervical Cancer - Dr. Snita Sinukumar
Cervical cancer is a cancer that begins in the cervix, the part of the uterus or womb that opens into the vagina.
• It is the part of the uterus that dilates and opens fully to allow a baby to pass into the birth canal.
• The normal cervix has two main types of cells: squamous or flat cells, that protect the outside of the cervix and glandular cells, that are mostly inside the cervix, that make the fluid and mucus commonly seen during ovulation.
• Cervical cancer is caused by abnormal changes in either of these cell types in the cervix, and is the only gynecologic cancer that can be prevented by regular screening and preventive vaccination. Cervical cancer usually affects women between the ages of 30 and 55.
Cervical cancer and cervical pre-cancers usually have no symptoms. That is why it is important to have a Pap test. A woman usually does not have any symptoms until the cells turn into cancer and invade the deepest parts of the cervix or other pelvic organs.
These are common symptoms in women who have developed cervical cancer.
- Vaginal discharge
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding
- Vaginal odor
These symptoms may be caused by cancer or by other health problems. It is important for a woman to see her doctor if she is having any of these symptoms.