Cervical cancer is an extremely uncommon type of cancer that begins in the vagina. The vagina is a cavity that connects a woman’s uterus to her vagina. The cervix is usually a smooth, hollow cylinder which extends from the vagina to the cervix (and sometimes into the birth canal). The majority of cervical cancers start in cancerous cells on the outer surface of the cervix, or in other words, outside the cervix at the level of the vagina.
In most cases, if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms and have been recently diagnosed with cervical cancer, it is highly likely that you will be referred to a doctor for special diagnosis. Early detection can save your life! Your doctor will first need to do a biopsy, removing cells for laboratory testing. Then, depending on the stage of the disease, your doctor may decide to perform a cervical examination to see if any of the cancer has spread to other areas of your body. If the doctor detects any cancer cells during this process, your doctor will have you come back in a few weeks for a more definitive diagnosis.
There are two types of cervical cancer. These include those that develop in one of your cervix’ chambers and those which develop elsewhere. Those that develop in one of your cervices tend to be slow-growing, while those that grow elsewhere tend to be aggressive and invasive. If cancer cells start to spread beyond the cervix, they tend to go through the uterus and out of it. This can happen either in the upper part of your vagina, the pelvic region, the rectum, or any other place in your body.
HPV infection, the cause of cervical cancer, is contagious. Therefore, it is important that you avoid sexual contact with someone else who has the infection. This includes multiple sexual partners. You should always get regular pap smears, even if you don’t have any symptoms. When you start to feel something unusual, get to a doctor. A doctor will help screen for any changes in the genital area and in your reproductive system.
HPV spreads through skin to skin contact, so the way to protect yourself is to limit the risk of vaginal and cervical cancer. If you already have HPV, you can help minimize your risk of developing more by avoiding sex. Also, remember that men can also carry the infection. In fact, in some cases, the man carries the HPV virus when he infects a partner through sexual intercourse. The best way to deal with a man is to let him know about your current condition and let him do his part to protect you.
HPV spreads by the means of two types of transfer: A simple one involving physical contact and an indirect one involving genes transferred via semen. The direct transfer happens during sexual intercourse, while the indirect transfer can happen from the cervix to a blood vessel. Women can also transfer the HPV virus to men, although men are not as likely to become infected as women are. In fact, the risk of contracting cancer increases among men who have multiple partners. In addition, cancer starts in a specific area, so HPV does not usually travel from area to area when it dies off. However, it can spread to other parts of your body if you don’t treat your cervix at the right time.
If you have been diagnosed with cervical cancer, then the treatment options available to you will depend on the type of cancer you have. Your doctor may recommend surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, or immunotherapy, which uses your immune system to fight against your tumors. Sometimes your doctor will suggest combining treatments to get rid of your cancer. Unfortunately, treatment options for this type of cancer can be complex and expensive. You may also face a lot of side effects from these treatments.