Cervical cancer is the leading cancer in Indian women and the second most common cancer in female worldwide
- Incidence rises in 30-34yrs and peaks at 55-65 years.
- Any married women can develop Cancer Cervix.
- Usually cancer cervix is asymptomatic at early stage: but people may experience abnormal menstrual cycles; heavy menstruation; post coital bleeding; pain; and abnormal vaginal discharge, fatigue, nausea, weight loss etc.
- About 76.7% of cancer cervix is caused by HPV 16 & 18 infection (HUMAN PAPILLOMA VIRUS). Routine screening with papsmear (Cervical screening used to detect potentially pre-cancerous and cancerous lesion in cervix) is mandatory to detect cancer at an earlier stage and for early treatment.
Since HPV 16&18 accounts for majority of cancer cervix, vaccines are now available against them to offer some protection against cancer cervix.
Treatment options available for this cancer are:
- Laser Surgery
- Loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP\LEETZ)
- Cold knife conization
- The above four surgeries are preferred for precancerous and cancer in superficial layers only (not spread to deep layers) called as carcinoma in situ.
- Cone biopsy is preferred procedure if fertility needs to be retained
- Simple hysterectomy (if not spread to lymph and blood vessels).
- Radical hysterectomy (if cancer has grown in to blood vessels and lymph vessels).
- Radical trachelectomy
- Radiation –EBRT and brachy treatment depending on the stage of cancer cervix.
Surgery is the mainstay of treatment for majority of cases. If cancer cells are found in the edges of tissue (called as positive margins), Surgery may be followed by radiation therapy which is often given with chemotherapy (concurrent chemo radiation). From advanced stages (Stage II B onwards) chemo radiation forms the main line of treatment.