The uterine cervix is the bottom opening of the uterus, which connects the uterus with a woman’s vagina. The cervix is the tissue that dilates to allow a baby to pass from the uterus during childbirth. Cancer of the cervix is fairly common and very treatable in most cases.
Some of the suspected and known causes for cervical cancer include exposure to STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases), presence of HPV (human papilloma virus), genetic predisposition, high number of pregnancies and the use of oral contraception for long periods of time.
The most common way to discover cervical cancer is through a Pap smear. This test is performed each year on women by their gynecologist, and it shows the presence of any irregularities in the cells of the cervix.
Vaginal bleeding that is unexplained and pelvic pain are often warning signs that the patient may have cervical cancer, and are symptoms that should be explained to the patient’s doctor as soon as possible in order to expedite testing.
The chance of successful treatment depends on the amount of cancer present, the percentage of the cervix affected and the amount of metastases that has taken place, if any. A patient with a tiny amount of affected cells has a much better prognosis than someone with more advanced cancer.
Treatment really depends on the type and stage of the cervical cancer and the health of the patient.