Cervical Carcinoma – The Most Important Time
Cervical carcinoma is one of the most dangerous types of this disease. Because? Because symptoms do not appear for a long time. As a general rule, the first symptom is the occurrence of vaginal bleeding after intercourse or in the period between menstruation. It often comes to bleeding in the treatment of cancer after menopause. A doctor confirms or discards cancerous changes and transfers the patient to exams such as cytology and colonoscopy.
One of the symptoms of changes in the cervix may also be unpleasant odor or a pink colored vaginal discharge. As the disease progresses, these symptoms become more distinct and their extent becomes greater. Patients complain of pain in the abdomen and back, swelling in the leg and pelvis.
Causes of cervical carcinoma
Young women are generally unaware that they are exposed to many infections after the onset of sexual life, including HPV (human papillomavirus), which is responsible for the development of cervical cancer in a large number of cases. This virus has many mutations, of which up to 15 are responsible for the development of cervical carcinoma.
Studies show that if the HIV virus has oncogenic properties, the risk of the disease increases:
• Twice when sexual life begins at an early age or when the woman smokes
• Two to four times if the woman has three or more children born or has been infected with sexually transmitted diseases
• Four times when a woman takes oral contraceptives for many years
It should be understood that HPV is, in many cases, also responsible for carcinomas of the vulva, anus, penis or esophagus. Studies clearly show that common condoms do not protect against virus infection. Exceptions are those with virucidal means. An average degree of safety is provided by contraceptives forming a barrier, vaginal deposits and diaphragms. In connection with this information, it should be clearly emphasized that the best prevention is loyalty and monogamous relations.
Cytology and colposcopy
These two studies are fundamental in the diagnosis of this type of cancer. During the test, the doctor removes epithelial cells from the cervix. This study, called cytology, classifies cells into one of the categories: normal, atypical, pre-cancerous and carcinogenic. If the test shows the presence of atypical cells, it should be repeated after treatment has been applied. And in the result, which indicates the presence of pre-cancerous changes, it is advisable to perform a colposcopy. This examination as well as the labeling of the oncological characteristics of the virus are also prescribed if the verification of results, which does not seem clear, is necessary.
A colposcopy is an examination with a special optical device whose task is to illuminate the inside of the cervix. This study is important because it shows pathological changes. In addition, it also allows an accurate identification of where the sample should be taken.
The third type of investigation, performed in the situation where colposcopy does not allow an accurate evaluation of the diseased changes, is the conization. It is a form of biopsy under general anesthesia. This examination makes it possible to determine if a change is carcinogenic. If the diagnosis indicates cancerous changes, it is necessary to determine its degree:
• Grade I – limited changes to the neck area
• Grade II – Changes go beyond the neck and may cover a large portion of the vagina
• Grade III – the tumor infiltrates the pelvic wall and covers the entire vagina
• Grade IV – advanced changes that include not only the sexual organs, but also the bladder, rectum and others.
Unfortunately, there are situations in which even regular cytological tests do not recognize the risk of cancer early enough. This is because the brush for removing the smear does not reach the end of the neck. However, it is also true that in countries such as Iceland, Finland, Sweden and the United States, where for more than 20 years mandatory cytological examinations were imported, mortality due to this cancer was reduced by up to 80%.
Research is the basis
As mulheres após a histerectomia geralmente cometem o erro de negligenciar os exames de controle citológico. If the surgeon has removed a piece of cervix or other organ during the operation, examinations are mandatory. They are not needed unless the sexual organs are removed as a result of fibroids.