The following describes the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of cervical cancer. For specific information regarding your health and treatment options, please contact your Hurley physician or medical professional.
What is cervical cancer?
Cervical cancer is one of the most common cancers that affect a woman's reproductive organs and occurs most often in women over age 30. Due largely to Pap test screening, the death rate from cervical cancer has decreased greatly over the last 50 years. Today, most cases of cervical cancer can be prevented with a vaccine for young women.
What causes cervical cancer?
Various strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection, play a role in causing most cases of cervical cancer. When a woman is exposed to HPV, her immune system typically prevents the virus from developing into a harmful condition. In some women, however, the virus eventually changes cells on the surface of the cervix into cancer cells.
What are the symptoms of cervical cancer?
Early cervical cancer usually produces no signs or symptoms. For this reason, all women should speak to their physicians about appropriate cervical cancer screening options. As the cancer progresses, the following signs and symptoms of more advanced cervical cancer may appear:
- Vaginal bleeding after intercourse, between periods, or after menopause
- Watery, bloody vaginal discharge that may be heavy and have a foul odor
- Pelvic pain or pain during intercourse
For more information about cervical cancer screening and diagnostics, click here.
For more information about cervical cancer treatment options at Hurley Medical Center, click here.