Essential Things You Need to Know About Cervical Cancer

Essential Things You Need to Know About Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that affects the cervix, which is the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina. The main symptom of this is abnormal bleeding from the vagina, but it can also cause pain and discharge. It is most common in women over 50 but can also occur in younger women. It is treated with surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.

Cervical cancer is the 14th most common cancer in women. It has been found that there will be 1100 new cases diagnosed in 2019, and approximately 250 women will die from the disease, as per the Cancer Council Australia. Most cases are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection. HPV is a widespread virus that is usually harmless, but some types can cause changes to the cervix cells, which can lead to cancer. Also, pap smears can detect changes to the cells of the cervix, which can be treated before they become a significant cause.

Types of HPV vaccines:

There are mainly two types of HPV vaccines available in Australia, and both can help protect against the types of HPV that cause cancer. The HPV vaccine is free for women aged between 12 and 26 years old.

According to the Cancer Council Australia, the Gardasil-type vaccine protects against HPV types 16 and 18, which cause around 70% of cervical and HPV types 31, 33, 45, and 52. They are given in two doses, six to twelve months apart.

The Cervarix-type vaccine protects against HPV types 16 and 18. It is provided in three doses over six months.

How effective are HPV vaccines?

HPV vaccines are very effective at preventing HPV infection and the changes to the cervix cells that can lead to cancer. They are most effective when given to young women before they become sexually active.

What are the best treatment options available for cervical cancer?

To get all the information about treating cervical cancer, you need to know the best available treatment options. Here you’ll get all of the information you need:

1 Surgery:

The most common type of surgery for cervical cancer is a radical hysterectomy, which involves removing the uterus, ovaries, Fallopian tubes, and the upper part of the vagina.

A radical trachelectomy is a less common type of surgery that may be an option for women who want to have children in the future. This surgery involves removing the cervix, uterus, and surrounding lymph nodes, excluding ovaries and Fallopian tubes.

A radical pelvic exenteration is a rare type of surgery that may be an option for women with advanced cervical cancer. This surgery removes the cervix, uterus, ovaries, Fallopian tubes, bladder, and rectum.

2. Radiation Therapy:

Radiation therapy is a treatment process that uses high-energy beams, such as X-rays to kill cancer cells. External treatment is often preferred since it does not require an operation on the patient. However, some patients may require internal radiation therapy, which is also called brachytherapy.

Treating cervical cancer with radiation therapy may cause side effects, such as fatigue, skin reactions, vaginal dryness, and urinary problems. However, these side effects are usually temporary.

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Depending on the cancer stage, radiation therapy may be used before or after surgery. It may also be the primary treatment for women unable to have surgery. In some cases, doctors recommend a combination of radiation therapy and chemotherapy. So, you should discuss with your doctor about this matter.

You must be aware of various treatments for cervical cancer. If you think you may be at risk for this disease, or if you have any symptoms, make an appointment to see your doctor.