Cervical cancer develops on the cervix's surface. It happens when the cells in one’s cervix start to transform into abnormal cells. Although not all pre-cancerous cells will develop cancerously, detecting them and controlling them before they become malignant is crucial in preventing cervical cancer.
As this topic is very sensitive and often considered taboo in our society, this short review article is written to create awareness. This week, Rehman Medical Institute conducted a live session where the guest speaker was Dr. Faiza Rahman. She is a consultant Gynecologist at RMI.
There are 68.6 million women in Pakistan aged 15 and older who are at risk of acquiring cervical cancer. According to current estimates, Cervical cancer is detected in 5008 women every year and has 3198 deaths. Women suffer the most. In Pakistan, the third most common malignancy among women is Cervical cancer.
What is the average age of a person diagnosed with cervical cancer?
Cervical cancer is usually detected in women aged 35 and 44, with a median age of 50 upon diagnosis. It only occurs in women under the age of 20. Many older women are unaware that the danger of cervical cancer remains the same as they become older. Cervical cancer takes ample time to develop. The aberrant alterations in the cervix can take years, if not decades, to develop into aggressive cancer cells. Cervical cancer may grow more quickly in persons with weakened immune systems, but it will still take at least 5 years to build.
Cervical Cancer Early Symptoms
- Abnormal vaginal discharge (either after intercourse, between periods, or post-menopause)
- Vaginal bleeding (heavy or with a foul odor)
- Discomfort during intercourse.
- Pelvic discomfort.
- Lower back discomfort.
- Puffiness and pain in the legs.
- Weight loss.
- Loss of appetite
Stages of Cervical Cancer
Stage I: Your cervix is the only part of your body where cancer can be found. It hasn't spread and isn't very big.
Stage II: In this stage, cancer has advanced outside your cervix and uterus but not to your pelvic wall or vagina.
Stage III: Cancer has advanced to the lower section of your vaginal wall, your pelvic wall, your ureters (urinary tubes), and adjacent lymph nodes.
Stage IV: This is the final and critical stage where cancer has spread to your bladder, rectum, or other body regions, such as your bones or lungs.
What is the most effective method for detecting cervical cancer?
Regular screening tests are the most effective strategy to detect cervical cancer early. The HPV test and the Pap test are the two tests used to screen for cervical cancer. These tests can be performed separately or in tandem (a co-test). Consulting a relevant gynecologist and having an early checkup can help prevent cervical cancer and save a life.
What does the RMI Department of Gynecology & Obstetrics offer?
Rehman Medical Institute has a well-equipped Gynae care unit where highly experienced consultants and their team are always ready to serve. Modern techniques are being used for the detection and treatment of cervical cancer.