Cervical Cancer  - Treatments, Symptoms, Causes

Cervical Cancer - Treatments, Symptoms, Causes

Cervical cancer is a cancer that occurs after the transformation of the cervical tissue into malignant cells. The cervix is the part that connects the exit of the uterus, which is one of the female reproductive organs, and the vagina.

Cervical cancer is a cancer that develops slowly over time. In almost 99% of the disease, the underlying cause is a virus called human papillomavirus, which is abbreviated as HPV. For this reason, regular follow-up of women after being sexually active is important for early diagnosis. In recent years, the cervical cancer vaccine (HPV vaccine) developed against this virus has started to be used routinely in many countries. We hope that vaccine awareness and vaccination will increase rapidly all over the world, and we hope that our encounter with this type of cancer will gradually decrease in the future.

Today, despite early screening and serious awareness campaigns, only 46% of patients can be diagnosed at an early stage. When we examine all patients, the 5-year survival rate is 67% in cervical cancer. If it is caught in the early stage, that is, at the time of diagnosis, which does not extend to the surrounding tissues and does not metastasize to other organs, the 5-year survival rate, in other words, the survival rate from the disease exceeds 90%. This shows how important screening methods and early diagnosis in cervical cancer are.

What causes cervical cancer? 

What are the risk factors We refer to any cause that increases the likelihood of contracting a disease as a risk factor. 99.7% of cervical cancer is caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. In addition, the reasons that increase the risk of developing cervical cancer in those with HPV infection; smoking, long-term use of birth control pills, and having multiple children. 

Having diseases that weaken the immune system is one of the reasons that increase the probability of getting HPV infection. Our immune system is made up of cells that protect us against infections. In cases where our immune system does not work (such as HIV, AIDS disease, drugs used for organ transplantation), the probability of HPV infection to cause disease increases.

What are the symptoms of cervical cancer? 

In the early period, no complaints related to cervical cancer may occur. For this reason, it is important to start screening regularly for HPV infection at a young age. When the disease starts to progress regionally, complaints of bleeding or abdominal pain begin. If you have bleeding between menstrual periods, resumption of bleeding after menopause, or bleeding after sexual intercourse, you should definitely consult a doctor. All these symptoms may be the early signs of cervical cancer.

Cervical cancer treatment 

If cervical cancer is diagnosed at a very early stage, surgery may be considered. If the disease has spread to distant organs, chemotherapy and targeted smart drugs are applied. The choice of treatment is determined by the characteristics of the patient, the type of cancer and the extent of its spread.