The region in which the uterus opens to the vagina is called cervix uteri or cervix. The condition of the uncontrolled growth and proliferation of cells in the cervix which connects the body of the uterus to the vagina is defined as cervical cancer.
The cervix consists of two different parts and the cell types in both sections are different from each other. The cervix section close to the body of the uterus is called “endocervix” and there are mucus-producing glandular cells inside the cervix. The other part of the cervix is located just above the beginning of the vagina and there are squamous cells in this part called ectocervix.
The endocervix and ectocervix sections come together in the so-called “transformation zone“; most of the cervical cancers occur as a result of cell proliferation in this region. The cells does not suddenly transform into cancer; precancerous conditions are first observed and they can be diagnosed with PAP Smear test. Therefore, cervical cancer is among the gynecological cancers that can be previously diagnosed and treated with PAP smear test.
Symptoms of Cervical Cancer
The cervical cancer symptoms and their severity may vary from person to person and depend on the stage of cancer. Patients do not usually complaint in the early stages of cancer. However, cervical cancer can be treated in the early stages by determining abnormal cells as a result of the smear test. As cervical cancer progresses, symptoms such as bleeding between menstrual cycles, post-menopausal bleeding, vaginal discharge, prolongation of menstrual periods and bleeding after sexual intercourse can occur. If cervical cancer cells metastasize, symptoms such as pelvic pain, weight loss, poor appetite, bone pain, decrease in bone density, urinary incontinence from the vagina and back pain may occur.
How To Diagnose Cervical Cancer?
The smear test is an effective method for early diagnosis of cervical cancer. If there is any abnormality in the smear test findings, biopsy is performed to be able to understand whether it is cancer. In addition to smear and cervical biopsy, the methods such as colposcopy, rectovaginal examination, CT scan, MRI scan, Positron Emission tomography and blood count are performed for the diagnosis and the cervical cancer staging.
Treatment of Cervical Cancer
The treatment of cervical cancer, which may occur as a result of risk factors such as HPV (Human Papilloma Virus), smoking, weakening of the immune system, chlamydia infection, obesity, long-term use of contraceptives, delivery before the age of 17, diethylstilbestrol (a drug for preventing miscarriages), family history and 3 and more full-term pregnancy, is determined as specific to person.
Radiotherapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapy and surgical treatment options can be applied as a result of disease stage and general health status of the person. Some patients may be required to perform more than one treatment option simultaneously.
We, as KADOMER, provide services for the early diagnosis and treatment of gynecologic cancers. We conduct treatment processes under the leadership of Prof. Husnu Caglar, MD, who specialized in gynecological oncology.