About a disease like cervical cancer,probably heard everything. Unfortunately, this disease is one of the most common oncological pathologies in women. In order to protect themselves as much as possible, women should have as much information as possible about a disease such as cervical cancer. It is necessary to know all the specifics - the reasons provoking the development of the disease, all the symptoms and signs that indicate its presence, all the principles and methods of diagnosis and treatment. As mentioned above, cervical cancer is a woman's reproductive system, characterized by the development of a malignant tumor on the cervix. Recall - the cervix is located between the body of the uterus and the vagina. In almost all cases, the development of cervical cancer occurs as a consequence of human infection with human papillomavirus. The main symptoms of this pathology are pain and uterine bleeding, and in some cases, symptoms are completely absent. In such cases, the disease is diagnosed absolutely accidentally, during a routine preventive examination of a woman with a gynecologist. More details about the signs of cervical cancer and methods of diagnosis will be written a little lower.
Causes of cervical cancer and their types
Modern science has reliably proven that cancercervix arises because of the presence of a human papilloma virus in the body. Of course, this does not mean that absolutely any woman who falls ill with HPV should face cervical cancer. As a rule, the presence of human papillomavirus 16, 18 and 31 types leads to the development of oncological diseases. Incidentally, it was this act that formed the basis of the theory that cervical cancer can be transmitted sexually. The fact is that during unprotected sexual intercourse and the human papilloma virus can be transmitted, including the type that can lead to the development of cervical cancer. That is why those women who have an active sex life with a frequent change of sexual partners are much more likely than others. Doctors - gynecologists and oncologists for today know two varieties of cervical cancer. In most cases - approximately 80% - the cancerous malignant neoplasm develops from the cells of the flat epithelium lining the cervix. In the remaining 20% of all cases of cervical cancer, the malignant neoplasm develops from those cells that are responsible for the production of cervical mucus. This phenomenon is called adenocarcinoma of the cervix.
How does this pathology of the cervix develop?
Cervical cancer has one characteristic feature -for its development requires the previous diseases of the cervix, a woman with a healthy neck, a malignant neoplasm will never develop. By the way, the best way to prevent the development of cervical cancer to date is the prevention of various gynecological diseases. There are several diseases of the cervix, which most often lead to the development of malignant neoplasm:
- Cervical erosion. This disease is one of the most common diseases of the cervix. Fortunately, this pathology rarely leads to the development of cervical cancer. However, in the event that erosion is not treated, a certain risk still exists.
- Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia. Shortly, this disease in doctors is called CIN. By this term, doctors refer to a woman's condition, in which there are pathological cells in the cervix of the uterus that begin to divide uncontrollably, resulting in a very high risk that they eventually become malignant tumors.
Doctors distinguish three stages of this pathology. The first two stages of treatment are very successful - that's why it's so important to get help from a gynecologist in time. If time is lost, the disease will enter the third stage, which in its essence is already nothing more than the initial stage of cervical cancer. After the three stages of the precancerous state have been passed, the malignant tumor will begin to expand deep into the cervix, gradually hitting all its new areas. If malignant formation of the cervix is not diagnosed in a timely manner, the neoplasm will constantly grow, growing into neighboring organs - most often in the rectum and bladder. But this is not all the danger - cancer cells have the property of penetrating into the blood, and with its current spread throughout the body. Thus, metastases can appear in almost any organ, depending on what place the cancer cells like. Of course, the entire process takes place not in a week, and not in a month - usually it takes several years, although, of course, there are sometimes exceptions. But even in these cases, at least six months pass from the initial stage to the development of cervical cancer. That is why the best way to protect your health is regular preventive examinations at the doctor - gynecologist. This measure will help to detect this pathology at the earliest stages of its development, which means that the chances of a full recovery of a woman will be very, very great. After all, it is the early diagnosis and timely treatment that is the true allies of the doctor in the fight against malignant neoplasms.
Symptoms of cervical pathology
Often, malignant neoplasm of the cervixThe uterus proceeds without any external manifestation and symptoms of the disease for a very long time. At this stage, a malignant tumor can be detected accidentally, during a preventive examination, or in the event that a woman turns to a gynecologist for any other reason. However, if the disease remains untreated for a long time, the malignant tumor continues to increase in size and, accordingly, already significantly disturbs the normal functioning of the reproductive system and the body of the woman as a whole. And the woman having the following cervical cancer symptoms has the following:
- Bloody discharge from the genital organs
One of the earliest symptoms ofthe body of a woman has a malignant neoplasm of the cervix - this is the appearance of bloody discharge from the vagina. And pay attention - it's not about uterine secretions, but about the so-called contact ones. Blood is secreted after intercourse, due to trauma to the cervix, the tissues of which are affected by a malignant tumor and are very sensitive to the slightest touch. However, in some, very rare cases, bleeding from the genital area of a woman can begin suddenly, without any external influences. However, in this case they are also almost never excessively abundant.
- Specific vaginal discharge
In addition to bloody discharge in cervical cancercan appear very specific secretions that have a transparent yellowish color. The main part of this secreted fluid is the leukocytes, which are produced by the body of a woman to fight malignant cells. In fairness, it should be noted that a woman is unlikely to distinguish them from normal vaginal secretions, but for a gynecologist to recognize them there will be no difficulty.
- Painful sensations
In some cases, women who havemalignant neoplasm on the cervix, note pain in the area of the sacrum and spine, in the lower abdomen. In addition, very strong pain during sexual intercourse is noted by almost all sick women. However, in itself, the pain syndrome can not serve as one of the main symptoms of cervical cancer, as it accompanies a huge number of other diseases, sometimes even not having a gynecological profile relationship.
- Edema of external genital organs and extremities
In the event that the disease continuesprogress, often a woman complains to the doctor for regular swelling of the lower extremities and external genitalia. This swelling arises because malignant formations form metastases that settle in the pelvic lymph nodes and large blood vessels, and block the large blood vessels of the lower limbs.
- Fistula formation
As the disease progresses, oftenfistulas are formed - holes between the bladder, vagina and rectum, communicating with each other. This pathology at times worsens the functioning of all the organs of the small pelvis.
- Delay in normal outflow of urine
In the event that metastases of malignanttumors squeezed ureters and large lymph nodes can partially or completely turn off the kidneys, resulting in the development of hydronephrosis. Because of this pathology, in the absence of emergency medical care, the general poisoning of the body with products of vital activity very quickly develops, which are not excreted from the body of a sick woman.
- Purulent infections of the urinary tract
In addition to the retention of urine, the above-describedcomplications lead to the fact that a sick woman develops a severe bacterial infection of the urinary tract. The patient has an admixture of blood and pus in his blood. Considering the fact that at this stage of the disease the immune system of a woman is practically suppressed, in the absence of immediate medical care, the risk of a woman's death is very high.
- Edema of one limb
In some cases, swelling of the lowerlimbs on the one hand. It occurs in the last stages of the disease, because of the presence of metastases in the lymph nodes of the small pelvis, which squeeze the large blood vessels.
Diagnosis of cervical cancer
As has been repeatedly mentioned above, most oftenCervical cancer is diagnosed either during a routine examination, or if a woman seeks help from a gynecologist with complaints about the symptoms described above. To diagnose cervical cancer, doctors use the following diagnostic methods:
- Gynecological examination using mirrors
As a rule, for the first time the doctor pays attention toa change in the state of the mucous membrane of the uterus, which is typical for cancer, during the examination of the cervix by mirrors. In fact, this method of diagnosis is the simplest and painless, in addition, it is absolutely accessible to every doctor, even if his office is not equipped with additional equipment.
- Pap test
Another name that this method hasdiagnostics is a pop test. He is in the study under a microscope of smears taken from two zones - from the cervical canal and the mucous membrane of the cervix. This test is very popular due to its informativeness - it allows to detect not only the presence or absence of cancer cells in the cervix, but even a precancerous state - cervical intraepithelial neoplasia, which has already been described above. This test belongs to the screening group, and therefore it should be done to all women without exception, regardless of what caused the doctor to go to the gynecologist. Therefore, in no case should not abandon its conduct, if the doctor offers you this. No woman feels painful or even unpleasant sensations when taking swabs.
In the event that a doctor has anydoubt, he is likely to conduct an additional examination of the mucous membranes of the cervix and vagina using a special optical device - the colposcope. This type of study is called colposcopy. During this study, the doctor will carefully examine the condition of the mucous membrane of the cervix, paying particular attention to those areas that seem to him the most suspicious.
- Cervical biopsy
The last, final stage of cancer diagnosiscervix is a biopsy. The essence of this study is to take a small amount of cervical tissue, which is then carefully studied under a microscope. This study is carried out by all women without exception, in whom the doctor suspects the presence of cervical cancer.
- Intravenous urography
Intravenous urography is prescribed for women,who suffer from cervical cancer, in order to determine the usefulness of the urinary system, and especially the kidneys. Malignant neoplasm of the cervix, as it grows, often largely compresses the ureters. As a result of this squeezing, kidney function may be impaired.
- Rectoscopy and cystoscopy
These types of examination of the rectum and bladder are necessary in order to further investigate the condition of the rectum and bladder, which are most often affected by metastases.
Stages of development of cervical cancer
So, in the process of primary diagnosis, a doctordetermined the presence of a woman with malignant cervical formation. After this, in order to choose the optimal treatment regimen, the doctor should accurately establish the stage of development of cervical cancer. This will require a number of additional studies, such as chest x-ray, ultrasound examination of organs located in the abdominal cavity and pelvic cavity. In some cases, you may need a CT scan. Doctors classify cervical cancer by the degree of development of the disease in several stages:
We have repeatedly mentioned such a notion as"Five-year survival". This term is used by doctors oncologists. It indicates the prognosis of treatment of a malignant tumor. This prognosis is based on one reliably established that if within five years after the end of treatment the sick person does not have relapses, he has every chance to never again face the repetition of this cancer. At the end of this period the sick person considers fully recovered.
Methods of cervical cancer treatment
Methods and methods of cancer treatmentCervical cancer depends on several major factors. Firstly, very much depends on the individual state of the organism and the health characteristics of each particular ill woman. The patient should be prepared for the fact that it is unlikely that it will be possible to visit a doctor alone - an oncologist. Along with the gynecological examination of a sick woman, a whole series of examinations and tests will be conducted, which will give the doctors a complete and most accurate picture of the general state of health, the presence and extent of damage to other internal organs. Without a complete picture, choose the appropriate and effective treatment, which in addition will be the most sparing for the rest of the body. And, secondly, very much in determining the method of treatment depends on the stage of development of a malignant tumor. In the first two stages of cervical cancer, doctors are most often limited to complete removal of the uterus body itself, its appendages, and cervix. Often this measure is sufficient to completely eliminate the disease. However, I would like to recall once again that this treatment is effective only in the first two stages. In the same case, if the malignant tumor is larger, and the disease is in the third to fourth stages, in addition to the complete removal of the cervix, the body and the uterine appendages, oncologists do chemotherapy that is designed to suppress the growth and vital activity of cancer cells. It is probably pointless to talk in detail about how chemotherapy is produced, as well as about the principles of its effect on the body. This is the doctors who have been studying at the institute for six years, so this problem is unlikely to be solved within the framework of this article. The main thing that a woman should remember is the earlier the cervical cancer is detected, the higher the chances for a woman to survive and for a further full life.
Prevention of cervical cancer
Of course, doctors - gynecologists very often hearthe question of a woman about whether it is possible to prevent the development of cervical cancer. And this is quite a reasonable question, because preventing the disease, or curing it at the earliest stages of development is much easier than fighting the neglected form of malignant education. Doctors call three main methods of preventing cervical cancer:
- Regular visit to the doctor - gynecologist. A woman who is in reproductive age should undergo preventive gynecological examinations twice a year. And once a year, there must be a pap test. Such preventive measures will help to identify at the early stages of the disease not only a cancerous cervical tumor, but also a sufficiently large number of other diseases of the female reproductive system, which, unfortunately, there is a fairly large number.
- Prevention of unwanted pregnancy. As shown by numerous observations of gynecologists and oncologists, among those women who faced cervical cancer, two out of three women had two or more artificial abortions in their history. That is why it is so important to be reliably protected to prevent the onset of an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy. And remember that every subsequent abortion increases the risk of developing a cancer of the cervix by about 8%.
- Vaccination against papillomovirus infection. As already mentioned, one of the most common factors provoking the development of cervical cancer is the virus of the papilloma. To date, doctors - gynecologists recommend that they vaccinate against him all girls, girls and young women. This vaccination will reduce the risk of complications about 8 times.
We hope that after reading this article, you receivedbasic knowledge of what are the symptoms of cervical cancer, what are the main principles of treating this pathology, and how to reduce the risk of developing this pathology. After all, taking care of one's health is primarily the task of the woman herself. And doctors are only assistants and allies in the struggle for the health and life of women. We advise you to read: