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Cervical Cancer Treatment

Cervical cancer is generally hard to detect although one of the first symptoms is unusual vaginal bleeding. However, some women may never show any warning signs of cervical cancer until the cancer has reached an advanced level. Early detection of cervical cancer can generally be treated by surgery. Advanced stages of cervical cancer usually require the use of chemotherapy and/or radiation. To learn more about the symptoms of cervical cancer and how to prevent advanced stages of cervical cancer, read the questions below that have been answered by the Experts.

How long does it take for pre-cancer cells in the cervix to become cancer?

Squamous cells and glandular cells are typically the two cervical cells that can form into cancer. Dysplasia is a pre-cancerous development that generally forms in the squamous cells. The more common name for this cancerous cell is LGSIL or HGSIL (Low and High grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesion). This type of squamous cell may take several years to form into cancer. Glandular cells are more complicated in that it is unclear how long it will take for this cell to form into cancer. Usually, further testing is in order when a pap smear shows this type of cell. If nothing is found during the testing, follow up visits and testing are generally needed to stay on top of any potential problems.

Why is surgery not performed on cervical cancer no matter what the size?

Many times, cervical cancer is better managed by radiation rather than surgery. The reason is the damage that cervical cancer can cause to surrounding tissue and organs is usually extensive and surgery will usually cause more harm to those areas. In many cases, cancer tissue tends to not heal after surgery which leads to further issues such as intestine or bladder tissues being affected by fistulas (holes). By using radiation to treat cervical cancer, there is a possibility for the cancer to shrink and the chances of secondary issues are lessened.

Is painful intercourse a symptom of cervical cancer?

Generally, there are several symptoms associated with cervical cancer: menstrual cycle changes, painful intercourse, bleeding that occurs following intercourse and a vaginal discharge that has a bloody tint to it.

In most cases, if a woman has had regular pap smears that have shown normal readings, experiencing pain during sex generally isn't associated with cervical cancer. Basically, when cervical cancer gets to the point of causing pain, the cancer is in the advanced stages and usually very large.

Certain women experience pain during sex after menopause due to a lack of vaginal lubrication. This issue is typically resolved by using a lubricant that can be purchased over the counter. Some women may require an estrogen based cream or tablets.

Is stage 4 cervical cancer a fast growing cancer?

Typically, cervical cancer takes years to reach a stage 4 level from a pre-cancer stage. Generally stage 4 cervical cancer means that the cancer has affected other organs or areas in the body. While there are a few cases where cervical cancers may progress faster than others, it generally takes several years to reach a stage 4 level.

What are the early signs of cervical cancer?

Unlike some cancers, cervical cancer doesn't provide early warning signs. In most cases, cervical cancer is very advanced by the time it is detected. Generally, a woman with advanced cervical cancer may experience bleeding during intercourse and pain. For this reason, women should have yearly pap smears in an attempt to catch any changes in the cervix, regardless of how small the changes can be. A pap smear is usually the best way to detect cervical cancer before it grows.

Cervical cancer affects thousands of women each year. While there are ways to prevent cervical cancer from growing out of control, many women in the world are unaware of the dangers associated with cervical cancer. To learn more about the risk and the treatment for cervical cancer, ask an Expert for medical insights and suggestions for treatment now.
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