According to a recent study published in The Lancet Public Health on cervical cancer, India recorded the maximum number of cervical cancer cases in Asia. According to the study, 23% of the world's cervical cancer deaths—or 40% of all cervical cancer deaths—occurred in India and 17% in China. In 2020, there were 3,41,831 fatalities worldwide from cancer in vagina and an estimated 6,04,127 new cases.1
According to the National Cancer Registry Programme, the most prevalent cancers in women are cervix and breast cancer. In India, 6-29% of all cancer cases among women were cervical. According to the data, India recorded about 21% of all cervical cases. Based on the details issued by the Indian Council of Medical Research, AIIMS also estimates that there will be an increase in the number of cases. By 2026, the numbers could go up to 20 lakhs a year.
Considering the severity, here is everything you need to understand about cervical cancer and its symptoms, causes, diagnosis, risk factors, and preventive guidelines.
Cervical cancer develops in a woman's cervix, which is the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina. It occurs when precancerous cells on the surface of the cervix grow out of control and form tumours. Finding and eliminating these troublesome cells prior to their development is necessary for preventing cervical cancer. Premalignant cells do not always progress to become cancer. If not detected early through screening tests like Pap smears, these tumours can spread beyond the cervix to other parts of the body.
It is necessary to stay informed about the research being done to combat this cancer, and don't forget to start treatment as soon as possible.
You might be wondering how dangerous is cervical cancer and what are the reasons for cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer is not certain, even if you have an HPV strain known to cause it. Most HPV infections are cleared by your immune system, frequently within two years.
Some cancers can be brought on by HPV in both men and women. A few of these include:
Most women may want to know, “What does vaginal cancer look like?” While one may have no vagina cancer signs in the initial stages, it is important to know that the cancer in vagina may look like sores or small lumps. In some cases, these signs may show in the upper third of the vagina, which is nearest to the cervix. It is also highly recommended that women should, therefore, routinely undergo cervical smear screenings, sometimes known as Pap tests.
Pap tests are preventative. Instead of detecting cancer, it seeks to highlight any cell abnormalities that might be precursors to the disease so that treatment can begin as soon as possible.
These are the most typical vagina cancer signs:
Infection is just one of the possible reasons for these symptoms. Anyone exhibiting even one of these vaginal cancer symptoms should visit a medical professional.
Doctors can detect cervical cancer via a Pap smear test. The doctor takes a sample of your cervix's outer layer for cervical cancer diagnosis. Then, a lab will examine these cells for precancerous or cancerous alterations.
Your doctor might advise a colposcopy, a technique for looking at your cervix to detect abnormalities if any. During a colposcopy exam, tissue is gently collected using minimally invasive methods:
If punch biopsy and curettage findings suggest cervical cancer may be present, and symptoms are severe, additional tests provide confirmation:
If all these tests reveal the patient has cancer, more testing will be done to see if the infection has spread (metastasised). These examinations may involve:
All these procedures are called Staging.
The type of cervical cancer heavily influences the prognosis and course of therapy. The most prevalent forms of cervical cancer are:
Both kinds of cells can occasionally have a role in cervical cancer. Other cervix cells very seldom develop cancer.
Your doctor will determine the cervical cancer stages after a diagnosis has been made. Depending on the stage, it is possible to determine whether and how far the cancer has spread. Your doctor can identify the best course of treatment for you by identifying the stage of your cancer.
There are four stages of cervical cancer:
Stage 1: The cancer is mild in this stage. There's a chance that it affected the lymph nodes, but other body parts still remain unaffected.
Stage 2: The tumour has grown. It may have reached the lymph nodes or spread beyond the uterus and cervix, but it hasn't yet spread to other parts of your body.
Stage 3: The malignancy has gone to the pelvic or the lower vagina. It might obstruct the ureters, tubes that carry urine to the bladder from the kidneys. However, the other parts are still no affected. .
Stage 4: Cancer perhaps has spread to other organs, such as your bones, lungs, or liver, from the pelvis.
The recommended course of action for cervical cancer depends on several variables, including the disease's stage, age, physical well-being, and if you intend to plan a pregnancy in the future. If detected early, cervical cancer can be effectively treated. There are four primary treatments:
The goal of surgery is to eradicate as much cancer as possible. Sometimes, the doctor can only remove the portion of the cervix with cancerous cells. Surgery for more acute conditions may entail eliminating the cervix and other pelvic organs.
Drugs are used in chemotherapy to eradicate cancer cells all over the body. Doctors provide this therapy in cycles. Patients undergo chemotherapy for a while. After that, the treatment will end, giving the body time to heal.
X-ray beams with high energy are used in radiation to kill cancer cells. It may be given by a device outside the body. A metal tube inserted in the uterus or vagina can also be used to deliver it from within the body.
A more recent medication called bevacizumab (Avastin) functions differently than chemotherapy and radiation. Inhibiting the development of fresh blood vessels prevents the tumour from spreading and surviving. Chemotherapy and this medication are frequently used simultaneously.
These are some of the factors associated with cervical cancer:
To lessen your chance of developing cervical cancer:
A cancer diagnosis is unexpected and distressing. Identification and treatment of this illness depend on the early detection of abnormal cells in the cervix. By arranging routine gynaecological tests and engaging in safe sex, you can take precautions to lower your chance of developing cervical cancer.
Additionally, it is your responsibility to protect your finances owing to the soring treatment expenses. There is no denying that cancer treatment involves a huge monetary drain. However, factoring a cancer insurance plan, you can manage the expenses up to a certain limit. Cancer insurance from Care Health Insurance covers routine screenings that are the key to early detection. Annual check-ups, comprehensive protection at all cancer stages, chemo and radiotherapy cover, day care treatment etc. are a few attractive features of this policy.
The above information is for reference purposes only: Policy Assurance and Claims at the underwriter's discretion.
All plan features, benefits, coverage, and claims underwriting are subject to policy terms and conditions. Kindly refer to the brochure, sales prospectus, and policy documents carefully.
Published on 3 Oct 2023
Published on 3 Oct 2023
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Published on 28 Sep 2023
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