Cervix Cancer is a malignant tumor that occurs in one of the female reproductive organs which is the cervical part of the uterus (cervix) due to abnormal development. This organ is a part of the vaginal orifice of the uterus, and although it is actually a part of the uterus, it is regarded as a different organ from the uterus since its structure and properties are different.
Due to the possibility of transformation into cancer, some cases that develop as a predictor of this cancer before cervical cancer develops in women are also reviewed together in this title. This Cervical Cancer-related disease group, known as CIN, is easier to treat than cancer itself, has a higher success rate and is a cost-effective disease.
If the patient continues to develop cancer before this cancer predictor condition is diagnosed, this type of cancer is difficult in terms of treatment, surgery, radiotherapy requirement and complications, has a relatively low success rate, and is also an expensive treatment requiring a qualified staff. Therefore, the purpose of medicine is naturally to diagnose, treat and follow this possible cancer in women before it is not yet transform into cancer during the onset of the cancer (CIN).
Since the cervix is an organ suitable for direct observation and sampling, which can be easily and painlessly accessed by vaginal examination, taking a simple swab from this organ at regular intervals is a sufficient and effective method to prevent cancer and the name of the method is Pap-smear. These Pap-smear controls, which have been recommended and practiced for many years as the most important method to protect against cervical cancer, still have their importance and priority nowadays, but now we have our breakthrough new knowledge and methods aside from this smear test.
In order to understand these knowledge and developments, it is the fact that we have now identified the cause of cervical cancer
Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), which is one of the many viruses that infect humans, has over 100 subtypes, of which about 40 cause disease in the male and female genital regions. Some of these virus types in the genital region cause warts, while about 15 types cause cervical cells to become abnormal and transform into cervical cancer. This period of change typically takes 10 to 15 year.
Symptoms of the cervical cancer (carcinoma of the uterine cervix)
Genital HPV is usually spread by sexual intercourse, and the person is easily infected by skin contact and not only through sexual intercourse. HPV is so common that many adults get HPV in some period of their lives. However, since HPV has usually a short life and rarely causes significant symptoms, most people will not be aware that they are contracted with HPV.
Risk factors for cervical cancer (carcinoma of the uterine cervix)
The risk factor is any factor that increases the possibility of developing a disease. Risk factors may include environmental and genetic factors, as well as certain personal habits such as smoking which is a well-known risk factor for many cancers.
It is important to keep in mind that having a risk factor for a particular disease here does not mean that you will be contracted. This only means that while everything else is equal, you are more likely to have the disease than someone else who does not have the same risk factor.
In terms of cervical cancer, HPV is the primary risk factor and cervical cancer does not develop in women who are not infected with HPV. However, any condition that suppresses immunity in women may increase the risk of development of cervical cancer because low immunity makes it possible to transform into cancer as HPV makes it possible to develop permanent infection. Other risk factors that need to be mentioned generally include any social, medical or environmental impact that facilitates the transmission of HPV, including a polygamous life or multi-partner life.
Early stages in cervical cancer (carcinoma of the uterine cervix)
Abnormal cervical cells do not cause any significant symptom; there is no pain, there is no bleeding, there are no signs that something goes wrong. Only regular cervical screening can help to detect early stages in which these abnormal cells can be successfully and easily removed at high levels.
Advanced stages in cervical cancer (carcinoma of the uterine cervix)
After the cervical cancer develops, it may present the following symptoms:
These symptoms may be observed in cervical cancer, but other conditions may also lead to them. For whatever the reason might be, if any of these symptoms occur, you should immediately consult a gynecologist.
Diagnosis of the cervical Cancer (carcinoma of the uterine cervix)
The diagnosis of Cervical Cancer is established by a biopsy by your doctor due to a suspicious smear result or an image during a direct examination. After this stage which is called "tissue diagnosis", a stage is defined following imaging methods and a post-examination phase by your doctor within a process called "clinical staging" to understand how much your disease has developed and spread in your body and how to plan treatment. The earlier this stage is, the more successful the treatment will be.
Treatment of the cervical cancer (carcinoma of the uterine cervix)
Two main factors in the treatment of cervical cancer can be summarized as Surgery and Radiotherapy (radiation therapy). In the early stages, that is, when the disease is limited and less metastatic, although the surgery and radiotherapy are assumed to be equal as beneficial to the patient and recovery from the disease, a well performed surgery -this operation is a type of surgery that is major and including details that can not be performed by normal obstetricians and requires a special branching out (Type 3 Hysterectomy)- alone can provide recovery, and this post-operative radiotherapy can be applied in addition to the common use of two treatments and this method is generally used.
Your gynecologic oncology specialist should choose the method of treatment and surgery that is most appropriate for you and discuss the method of making a decision together with you.