The genesis of cervical cancer is a process that takes years. The process begins with the entry of the HPV virus into the cells of the cervix and its proliferation. After some time, dysplasia (precancerous lesion) appears, and a few years later the cancer. Regular visits to the gynecologist will help in the early detection of lesions so that we do not reach the cancer stage.
Cervical cancer can also be successfully treated. Due to the complexity of the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, it is recommended to treat this disease by a gynecologic-oncologist, a doctor with special training in the field of gynecological oncology.
For the examination and the consultation, make an appointment at our gynecological office. Online consultation is also available.
What is cervical cancer?
– When a normal cervical cell change into abnormal one and start multiplying without control, cervical cancer occurs. It is most often diagnosed in women age 35 to 45, and the average age of women at the time of diagnosis is 50 years. Most women whose cervical cancer is found and treated in early stage have very good prognosis.
What are the symptoms of cervical cancer?
– I early stage a cervical cancer is often asymptomatic. If it causes symptoms, the symptoms are mostly bleeding between menstrual cycles, bleeding after sexual intercourse and bleeding after menopause. These symptoms can be caused by some other diseases, but if you notice them, contact us to schedule an appointment.
Is there a test for cervical cancer?
– Yes, a Pap test is used to screen women for cervical cancer. Depending on your age, the gynecologist will also perform an HPV test. HPV infection can cause cervical cancer.
In case of an abnormal Pap test, the gynecologist will perform a colposcopy and a targeted cervical biopsy. Sometimes we find cells in the cervix that are not cancer, but are abnormal and have a high chance of turning into cancer. If you have these “precancer” cells, we can treat them in different ways. The gynecologist might remove them to prevent them from turning into cancer. Or she might watch them closely over time.
Sometimes cervical cancer is visible to the eye. In these cases you do not need to have a Pap test or HPV. Only confirmation by biopsy is needed.
What is cervical cancer staging?
– Determining how far the cancer has spread. The choice of therapy also depends on the stage of the disease. Only the first stage is treated surgically, the advanced stages have a different treatment.
How is cervical cancer treated?
Cervical cancer can be treated in different ways.
- Surgical: radical hysterectomy, radical trachelectomy, cervical conization. These surgical treatments are often accompanied by pelvic lymphadenectomy.
- Chemo-radiotherapy: Radiation therapy with small doses of chemotherapy.
- Chemotherapy – Regular doses of chemotherapy.
Is it possible to get pregnant one day after the cervical cancer treatment?
– Some women may still become pregnant after treatment for cervical cancer. A woman cannot become pregnant after a hysterectomy, radiation therapy or certain types of chemotherapy.
Cervical surgery in women who are already pregnant is rare. The second such operation, performed in the world, was performed at the Oncology Institute of Vojvodina in Serbia (participation of Dr. Davidovic-Grigoraki in the mentioned surgery as well as 13 years of experience in that hospital) and the first in Greece at “Alexandra” University (2 years of specialization of the doctor in the specific hospital).
What happens after treatment?
– Treatment is followed by monitoring. You will come for check-ups at certain time intervals in order to check if the cancer is coming back. Tests usually include a Pap test and imaging examinations.
What happens if the cancer comes back or spreads?
– If the cancer comes back or spreads, you might have more surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy.
Is it possible to have sexual intercourse after the treatment?
– Yes. Removal of the uterus does not remove the entire vagina and the woman can have sex. After intravaginal radiation therapy, vaginal stenosis and possible penetration problems may occur. There are special vaginal dilators that are used during radiation therapy to prevent vaginal stenosis.
Can cervical cancer be prevented?
– In many cases yes. Almost all cervical cancer is caused by a virus called HPV (human papilloma virus) that is spread through sexual contact. Vaccines that prevent people from getting infected with HPV are available to both men and women, and works best if a person receives it before having sex. Also, treating precancerous lesions can prevent cervical cancer.