What is Cervical Cancer

By Medical Expert Team

Jan 15 , 2019 | 2 min read

The cervix is the lower part of the womb (uterus) and is often called the neck of the womb. The womb is a muscular, pear-shaped organ at the top of the vagina. The lining of the womb is shed each month, and results in bleeding called a period. These periods stop temporarily during pregnancy and will normally continue until a woman has the 'change of life' or menopause. Close to the cervix is a collection of lymph nodes.

About Cervical Cancer

It is one of the most common type of cancer affecting women in India. A woman in India have a 2.5% life time of getting cervical cancer, which is double the risk as compared to the data worldwide (1.3%). It is estimated that cervical cancer will occur in approximately 1 in 53 Indian women (the likelihood is higher in rural India)  during their lifetime compared with 1 in 100 women in more developed regions of the world.  There are more than 100 types of HPV and of these about 15 high-risk types cause most of the cases of cervical cancer, two of these types (16 and 18) are believed to cause 70% of these cases (76.7% in India).

Check: Vulvar Cancer Symptoms 

Most patients present with per vaginal bleeding and 95% of these cancers are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). HPV types 16, 18, 58, 33 and 45 most common types associated with cancer. HPV prophylactic vaccine will prevent more than 90%  of  cervical cancer cases. HPV also causes oropharyngeal cancer, penile cancer, vulvar cancer, vaginal cancer and anal cancer. Check best cancer specialist hospital in Delhi.

Cervical screening programmers detect and treat pre-invasive cervical disease.  These are very effective as a long lag time (10-20 years) is there between developing pre-invasive disease and cancer. 

Risk Factors: 

Many women have heard that having sexual intercourse at an early age and having multiple sexual partners can increase the risk of developing cervical cancer. They may be distressed that friends and family could think they fall into these categories. It is important to remember that although these factors can increase the chances of catching the HPV virus, many women who have only had one sexual partner have HPV, and may go on to develop CIN or cervical cancer. So there is no reason for yourself or others to feel that you are to blame for having cervical cancer. A weakened immune system may also allow preinvasive disease to develop into a cancer. The immune system can be weakened by smoking, poor diet, and other infections, such as HIV. 

Long term use of the contraceptive pill (more than 10 years) can slightly increase the risk of developing cervical cancer, but the benefits of taking the pill outweigh the risks for most women. Cancer of the cervix is not infectious and cannot be passed on to other people. 

Check here Cervical Cancer Treatment

Written and Verified by:

Medical Expert Team