Cervical Cancer: You need to know

Cervical Cancer


Cervical cancer is a cancer that begins at the cervix which is at the bottom of the uterus. This cancer is only found in females. The cervix is the part of the female reproductive organ that connects the vagina to the uterus.  Almost 6 lakhs of women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year, from which around 3 lakh women die from this disease. This disease can be easily controlled and treatable if diagnosed. In global terms, it has become the fourth most common type of cancer that is being diagnosed among women while in India, it is second most common. Cervical cancer is one of the reasons for the large death causes in India.

Cervical cancer is caused by a virus named Human Papilloma virus which is sexually transmitted into the body.  Because of this disease immune system of a female's body gets weak. This HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) affects the skin, genital area, and throat. This disease affects differently at different stages. Women have to face many problems if they are affected by this virus. Before the happening of this cancer in the body, there are several changes began to appear in the cells of the cervix. The "Pap Test (or pap smear) is a screening test for cervical cancer. 

This test lets the person know not only about the cancer she has but also the changes in the cells of the cervix, by knowing about the changes happening in the cells of the cervix doctor can identify if there is a chance of having cervical cancer in the future or not. In addition, if there are some chances of having cervical cancer in the future then these can be prevented by taking some measures or treatments so that the cancer would not happen. Each woman should need to get this test done every three years and the cost for this is reasonable. If you go to a government hospital for this test then it costs nothing nevertheless if you go to a private gynecologist, then it costs approx 1500 Rupees. As per the Lancet study, nearly 1 in every 4 deaths globally are due to cervical cancer.

Cervical Cancer


  • According to the World Health Organization, there are the following symptoms related to cervical cancer which are:
  • Experience of unusual bleeding between periods, after menopause or after sexual intercourse.
  • Increased or foul-smelling watery and bloody vaginal discharge.
  • Having persistent pain in the back, legs and pelvis.
  • Weight loss, fatigue and loss of appetite.
  • Swelling in the legs.
  • Vaginal discomfort.

Cervical Cancer

How it is caused?

In Maximum cases, it has been found that this disease is caused by the Human papillomavirus. It is a sexually transmitted virus from which almost all sexually active people will be infected at some point in their lives, usually without symptoms, says WHO. This virus is cleared in 2 to 2.5 years from the body by the immune system in the majority of cases but if not cleared then it leads to the growth of abnormal cells in the cervix which will result in cervical cancer if not treated at the right time. If the immune system of a woman is weak then it may affect her speedily.

what are the Risk factors for having cervical cancer?

  • Early age Pregnancy can be a risk factor in women for the cause of cervical cancer. Those women who had three or more full-term pregnancies have an increased risk of developing cervical cancer. It may be due to increased exposure to HPV infection with sexual activity.
  • Having many sexual partners can also increase the risk of having cervical cancer. More sexual partners, more exposure to HPV infection.
  • Smoking can be another risk factor. While smoking, many cancer-causing chemicals are exhibited which affect the surrounding persons. Women who smoke have higher chances of having cervical cancer than those who do not smoke. It also weakens the immune system.
  • The immune system helps in destroying cancer cells. Those whose immune systems do not work efficiently or have weakened immune systems have more chances of having cervical cancer.
  • Women who take contraceptive pills for a longer duration increase the risk of cervical cancer.

Cervical Cancer

Treatment of cervical cancer

Treatment can be based on various factors including the stage of the disease, the age of the patient, or is the patient pregnant or is expecting in the future. Treatments can be radiation, surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and targeted therapy.

Radiation therapy

High-energy X-rays or other particles are used to destroy cancer cells. Radiation therapy can be done in two ways, one is external-beam radiation therapy and other is internal-beam radiation therapy. In external beam radiation therapy, radiation is given from a machine outside the body, and in internal beam radiation therapy, radiation is given using implants. This therapy also has side effects, some can go away after the treatment is finished while some do not.


Surgery is a process in which a tumor is removed by operation. Complications after the surgery may vary depending on the type of the surgery.

Cervical Cancer


In this type of treatment, drugs are used for the treatment of cervical cancer. It can be given orally or are being injected into the veins. Its side effects depend on the person or the dose used.


It treats cervical cancer by improving the immune system's ability to attack the cancer cells. Some kind of dose may be given for the improvement of cervical cancer. Different types of side effects are caused by different kinds of immunotherapy.

Targeted Therapy

In this treatment, Cancer-specific genes or tissues that contribute to the growth of cancer cells are targeted. This treatment helps in

the reduction of cancer cell growth. The release of anticancer drugs directly targets the cancer cells.

One must consult with their doctor to find the most effective treatment that is suitable in their case based on their diagnosis.

Many people do not know about cervical cancer but they need to know that it is a very serious issue that must be addressed. Keep yourself aware and safe.

A Dynamiclady ~ Anshika Rajput

contact - anshika@dynamiclady.in

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