The cervix is the lower part of the uterus, the place where a baby grows during pregnancy. Cervical cancer is caused by a virus called HPV. The virus spreads through sexual contact. Most women's bodies are able to fight HPV infection. But sometimes the virus leads to cancer. You're at higher risk if you smoke, have had many children, use birth control pills for a long time, or have HIV infection.

Cervical cancer may not cause any symptoms at first. Later, you may have pelvic pain or bleeding from the vagina. It usually takes several years for normal cells in the cervix to turn into cancer cells. Your health care provider can find abnormal cells by doing a Pap test to examine cells from the cervix. You may also have an HPV test. If your results are abnormal, you may need a biopsy or other tests. By getting regular screenings, you can find and treat any problems before they turn into cancer.

Treatment may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or a combination. The choice of treatment depends on the size of the tumor, whether the cancer has spread and whether you would like to become pregnant someday.

Vaccines can protect against several types of HPV, including some that can cause cancer.

NIH: National Cancer Institute

Symptoms of Cervical Cancer

The following features are indicative of Cervical Cancer:
  • pelvic pain
  • bleeding from the vagina
  • contact bleeding
  • moderate pain during sexual intercourse
  • vaginal discharge
  • loss of appetite
  • weight loss
  • fatigue
  • pelvic pain
  • back pain
  • leg pain
  • swollen legs
  • heavy vaginal bleeding
  • bone fractures
  • leakage of urine or feces from the vagina
  • bleeding after douching or after a pelvic exam
It is possible that Cervical Cancer shows no physical symptoms and still is present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Cervical Cancer

The following are the most common causes of Cervical Cancer:
  • human papilloma viral infection
  • DNA mutations
  • cigarette smoking
  • use of oral contraceptives
  • episodes of multiple pregnancies

Prevention of Cervical Cancer

No, it is not possible to prevent Cervical Cancer.
  • mutations in the KRAS, ARID1A, and PTEN genes

Occurrence of Cervical Cancer

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Cervical Cancer cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Widely occurring between 500K - 1 Million cases

Common Age Group

Cervical Cancer most commonly occurs in the following age group:
  • Aged between 20-50 years

Common Gender

Cervical Cancer most commonly occurs in the following gender:
  • Female

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Cervical Cancer

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Cervical Cancer:
  • Pap test: a screening test for cervical cancer
  • Colposcopy: To see the surface of the cervix thoroughly
  • Cervical biopsies: To diagnose cervical pre-cancers and cancers
  • Chest X-ray: To check if the cancer has spread to the lungs
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan: To check the size of the cancer and its spread
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): To diagnose cervical cancer
  • Intravenous urography: To find out the abnormal areas in the urinary tract
  • Positron emission tomography (PET scan): To check if the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes

Doctor for Diagnosis of Cervical Cancer

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Cervical Cancer:
  • Gynecologic oncologist

Complications of Cervical Cancer if untreated

Yes, Cervical Cancer causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Cervical Cancer is left untreated:
  • can be fatal

Procedures for Treatment of Cervical Cancer

The following procedures are used to treat Cervical Cancer:
  • Hysterectomy: Prevents the recurrence of cervical cancer by removing the uterus
  • Radiation therapy: To destroy the cancer cells
  • Chemotherapy: To kill cancer cells
  • Palliative care: Provides relief from pain and other symptoms of cancer

Self-care for Cervical Cancer

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Cervical Cancer:
  • Don't smoke: Helps in lowering the risk of cervical cancer
  • Practice safe sex: Reduces the risk of cervical cancer

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Cervical Cancer

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Cervical Cancer:
  • Use vitamin A supplements: Reduces the risk of cervical cancer

Patient Support for Treatment of Cervical Cancer

The following actions may help Cervical Cancer patients:
  • Take time for yourself: Helps in combating the stress and fatigue of cancer
  • Find someone to talk with: By discussing your feelings with a friend or family member makes you feel comfortable

Time for Treatment of Cervical Cancer

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Cervical Cancer to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • More than 1 year

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Cervical Cancer.
Cervical Cancer Screening
Cervix Disorders
Women's Health Checkup

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