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What are the symptoms of cervical cancer?

By Medical Expert Team

Jan 15 , 2019 | 2 min read

The presentation of cervical cancer depends on the site of the tumor. A doctor should be consulted if any of the following occur:
Abnormal vaginal bleeding, such as between periods or after intercourse. 
Bad-smelling vaginal discharge
Discomfort during intercourse
Women who have had their menopause (who are no longer having periods) may have some new bleeding. 

Of course, there are many other conditions that can  cause these symptoms, but it is important that you see your doctor about them. It can be embarrassing to talk about these symptoms, but sooner you see your doctor and the diagnosis is made, the better the chance of treatment being successful. Check best cancer hospital in Delhi.

What investigations will I be subjected to?
The  investigation to diagnose cervical cancer are :

Colposcopy 
If abnormal cells are found in a smear test or liquid-based cytology, you may be referred for a colposcopy to have a biopsy taken. This is usually done in a hospital outpatient clinic. A colposcope is like a small microscope with a light and allows the doctor to make a more thorough examination of the abnormal cells on the cervix. 
This can be uncomfortable and may cause a feeling of  period pain, but the test only takes a few minutes. You may have some slight bleeding for a few days afterwards. 

Cone biopsy 
If the abnormal area can't be seen properly with the colposcope, you may have a cone biopsy. This is often done under local anaesthesia ,although you may need a general anaesthesia and overnight stay in hospital. 
A small cone-shaped section of the cervix, that is aimed to be large enough to remove any abnormal cells, is taken for examination under a microscope by a pathologist. 

A computed tomography (CT) scan of the abdomen and pelvis will help to support the diagnosis of the cancer as well to determine whether the cancer is at an early stage or whether it has spread to the lymph nodes, liver or other organs and if the colon cancer has infiltrated the surrounding organs. Liver function tests, chest X-ray and or MRI scan, etc. are other investigations to decide the stage of the disease. If an operation is being planned, some more tests may be necessary to decide fitness of the patient for general anesthesia.

At what stage is the Cancer?
Accurate staging of the cancer is based on histopathology and will be possible only after surgery. Cervical cancer can be broadly classified into

Early cancer – cancer only within the cervix  with no spread of disease outside of it
Locally advanced – when the cancer appears large and or/ invading other surrounding organs, with enlarged lymph nodes
Metastatic – when the cancer has spread far from the cervix , for e.g. to the liver, lungs, or beyond the pelvic wall. 
Treatment of Cervical Cancer:

Different type of treatments are available for patients with Cervical Cancer. Three types of standard treatment are used.

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy 
  • Radiotherapy Therapy
  • Brachytherapy

A multidisciplinary team (MDT) tumour board decides what is the best treatment option for each patient. 

Written by:

Medical Expert Team