Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Cervical cancer symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

Cervical cancer symptoms, diagnosis and treatment
Cervical cancer may not produce any symptoms or signs. Symptoms may develop when the cervical cancer cells start to invade surrounding tissues. Symptoms and signs of cervical cancer include:
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Vaginal bleeding after menopause
  • Vaginal bleeding after sex
  • Bleeding or spotting between periods
  • Longer or heavier menstrual periods than usual
  • Other abnormal vaginal discharge
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
It is important to note that these symptoms are not specific for cervical cancer and can be caused by a variety of conditions.
Diagnosis
§  Biopsy: A small section of tissue is taken under general anesthetic.
§  HPV DNA test:This test determines whether the patient is infected with any of the HPV types that are most likely to cause cervical cancer. This involves collecting cells from the cervix for lab testing.
§  Colposcopy: A speculum is placed to hold the vagina open as the gynecologist looks at the cervix through a colposcope - a lighted magnifying instrument.
§  Cone biopsy: A small cone-shaped section of abnormal tissue is taken from the cervix for examination.
§  LLETZ: A diathermy (wire loop with an electric current) is used to remove abnormal tissue. The tissue is sent to the lab to be checked.
§  Blood tests: measures number of blood cells, and can identify any liver or kidney problems.
§  Examination under anesthetic (EUA): This allows the doctor to examine the vagina and cervix more thoroughly.
§  CT scan: The patient consumes a barium drink that appears white on the scan. Just before the scan, a tampon may be placed into the vagina, and a barium liquid may be inserted into the rectum.
§  MRI: By using high-MRI with a special vaginal coil, a technique to measure the movement of water within tissue, researchers may be able to identify cervical cancer in its early stages.
§  Pelvic ultrasound: This is a device that uses high-frequency sound waves to create an image on a monitor of the target area.
Treatment
Cervical cancer treatment options include surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, or combinations. Deciding on the kind of treatment depends on several factors, such as the stage of the cancer, as well as the patient's age and general state of health.
Treatment for early stage cervical cancer has a good success rate. The further the cancer has spread out of the area it originated from, the lower the success rate tends to be.

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