What are the treatment options for cervical cancer?
Treatment options for cervical cancer may include a hysterectomy, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. The type of treatment chosen depends on the cancer stage. You may receive more than one type of treatment.
Is there a screening test for cervical cancer?
Even if you don’t have cervical cancer symptoms, it is important to receive a yearly screening test. The Pap test checks for abnormal cell changes of the cervix. This allows for early treatment, so the abnormal cells do not become cancer. An HPV test is also available, and is used along with the Pap test to screen for cervical cancer in some women and as a follow-up test when a woman has an abnormal Pap test result.
How long does it take for cervical cancer to develop?
Cervical cancer begins when normal cells in the lower portion of the uterus change or mutate into pre-cancerous cells. When pre-cancerous cells grow out of control, they may spread to nearby tissue, as well as other parts of the body. If left untreated, they may grow into a mass or tumor. The process of pre-cancerous cells developing into cancer often takes years.
Who is at risk of cervical cancer?
The highest risk factor for getting cervical cancer is physical contact with those that have the HPV virus. The following factors increase your risk of becoming infected with HPV:
- Multiple sexual partners
- Having a male sexual partner that has had multiple sexual partners
- A personal history of dysplasia of the cervix, vagina, or vulva
- Certain sexually transmitted infections, such as chlamydia
- Having a mother who took a drug called diethylstilbestrol (DES) during pregnancy
What are some of the symptoms of cervical cancer?
Cervical cancer symptoms include painful sex, vaginal bleeding, and discharge. If you have a cervical cancer symptom or multiple cervical cancer symptoms, it is essential to book an appointment with Dr. Hill for a gynecological exam and pap smear.
Is cervical cancer preventable?
Cervical cancer can be prevented with a vaccine to prevent human papillomavirus (HPV). Other preventative measures include yearly pap smears to detect precancerous changes. Early detection of precancerous cells makes the possibility of cervical cancer rare.