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About CARE Hospitals

With 14 hospitals spread across 6 cities, CARE Hospitals is a regional leader in tertiary care. It is ranked among the top 5 pan-Indian hospital chains and is driven by the core principle ‘to provide care that people trust’ through cost-effective medical care in more than 30 specialties.

Understanding Cervical Cancer

The cervix is the narrow opening that connects the uterus with the vagina. The portion of the cervix that leads into the vagina is referred to as ectocervix and the higher end of the cervix connecting to the uterus is the endocervix. The T-zone or the part where it overlaps, is an area where cancer is known to manifest. While cervical cancer is one of the common cancers that affect women, it is also a largely preventable one. Indian women account for about 25 percent of the cervical cancer deaths recorded in the world.

Causes and Risk Factors

While all women are at a certain risk of developing cervical cancer, the disease has been known to develop following a prolonged HPV (human papillomavirus) infection. HPV is a sexually transmitted virus and very often is supressed by the immune system. In case the virus remains in the system for many years, the risk of developing cervical cancer is significantly higher.

Additional risk factors include -

  • Having HIV or being on immunosuppressant drugs
  • Long term use of birth control pills
  • Multiple pregnancies and multiple sexual partners
  • Smoking

Symptoms of Cervical Cancer

Women with precancerous cells in the cervix or in the early stages of cancer do not exhibit any significant symptoms. As the cancer advances and invades adjacent tissues, some of the following symptoms may develop -

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding - between menstrual cycles, post menopause, bleeding after exercise or workouts, bleeding after sex, etc.
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge - Blood tinged fluid discharge between menstrual cycles or post menopause.
  • Abnormal pain or cramping or pain during sex.

If you experience one or more of these symptoms it is important to consult one of the expert gynaecologists at CARE Hospital.

Diagnosis and Staging

If your doctor suspects cervical cancer, it is likely that he/she may undertake an examination of the cervix using a colposcope. At this time the doctor will collect tissue samples using a punch biopsy or an endocervical curettage. These tissues will be further examined in the laboratory for malignancy. If malignancy is confirmed, the doctor may recommend imaging tests to stage the cancer.

Treatment Options

Like with most other cancers, early detection greatly improves chances of successful treatment as well as the prognosis. If cervical cancer is detected, the doctor may stage the cancer to find out the extent of tissues and organs affected. Surgery is usually recommended to remove the cancer cells. In some cases, the doctor may recommend removal of the cervix and the uterus (trachelectomy or hysterectomy). This may be followed by chemotherapy and/or radiation. Targeted therapy and immunotherapy are also recommended in some cases.

Is Cervical Cancer Preventable?

The best way to prevent cervical cancer is regular screening. Your doctor at the CARE Hospital may administer a pap smear or an HPV test. If your doctor comes across precancerous cells, these are removed and treated before any malignancy sets in.

In India there are two types of HPV vaccines available. It is best to discuss the administration of these vaccines with your doctor.

Lifestyle changes such as giving up smoking helps in prevention of cervical cancer.

Why CARE Hospitals?

CARE Hospitals is recognized as the most advanced, all-round health care centre in the country, powered by cross-functional teams comprising of surgeons, critical care and emergency medicine specialists. The founding team of CARE Hospitals comprises of medical innovators and pioneers who are passionately driven to make healthcare affordable for all, while ensuring clinical outcomes at par with international standards.

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