Cervical Cancer

21 December, 2022

Cancer of the cervix or cervical cancer starts on the cervical surface. It occurs when the cervical cells start transforming to precancerous cells. All precancerous cells don’t change to cancerous cells, but detecting such problematic cells and getting the right treatment is important to prevent cervical cancer. 

Around 14,000 women in the US are diagnosed to have cervical cancer every year. Women in the age group of 35-44 are often diagnosed to be suffering from this disease. At diagnosis, the average age is around 50. Women above the age of 30 should go for regular screening so that any problem can be detected early and they can get the right cervical cancer treatment. 

This article discusses how cervical cancer can be diagnosed and treated. 

Cervical Cancer Diagnosis

There are many diagnostic tests that are done to detect cervical cancer. During regular screening, the commonly conducted tests to diagnose the disease include:

  • Pap Test or Pap Smear Test: During this test, the doctor scrapes and brushes a few cervical cells for examination in a laboratory for any kind of abnormalities, including cells that indicate an increased risk of cancer. 


  • HPV DNA Test: If the pap test results turn out to be abnormal, you may have to undergo HPV DNA test as well. This involves collecting cervical cells and testing them for infection with any kind of HPV that may lead to cancer. 

If your doctor suspects cervical cancer, you may be asked to undergo a few more tests. To test for abnormal cells, a colposcope, which is a special magnifying instrument, is used for this. During this test, the doctor will take a sample of cells from your cervix for biopsy. For collecting the tissue samples, the doctor will use:

  • Punch biopsy wherein a sharp tool is used to take the samples
  • Endocervical curettage wherein an electrified low-voltage, thin wire is used for taking the tissue samples

If the above methods are worrisome, then the below method is followed. Cone biopsy is a procedure that lets the doctor get deep cervical cell layers for lab testing. This test is done under general anesthesia at a hospital. 

Once cervical cancer is diagnosed, your doctor will prescribe a few more tests for staging of the disease. These tests include imaging tests such as MRI, CT, Positron Emission Tomography (PET) & X-ray and visual inspection of your rectum & bladder using special scopes to view inside these parts. 

Cervical Cancer Treatment

The right treatment for a patient’s individual case of cervical cancer is decided by a team of multidisciplinary doctors, including a gynecologic oncologist, radiation oncologist, medical oncologist and surgeon to name a few. 

These specialists decide the right course of treatment depending on various factors like disease staging, patient’s age, overall health condition, and whether the patient plans to conceive in future. 

The generally recommended treatments include:

  • Surgery

Different types of surgeries are used for treating cervical cancer. The most common surgeries are: 

  1. Laser Surgery: uses a beam of laser for burning the cancer cells.
  2. Cryosurgery: freezes the cancerous cells.
  3. Simple Hysterectomy: removes the uterus but not the tissues near the uterus.
  4. Radical Hysterectomy: removes the uterus, the surrounding tissues (parametrium), the cervix, a small part of upper vagina and pelvic lymph nodes.  
  5. Trachelectomy: removes the upper vagina and cervix but not the uterus. 
  6. Pelvic Exenteration: removes all the parts that are removed in radical hysterectomy and also the vagina, bladder, a part of the colon and rectum depending on where the disease has spread. 
  • Targeted Therapy

In this therapy, drugs are used for destroying particular cancer cells without affecting the health cells. It targets proteins that control the way in which cancerous cells spread. 

  • Chemotherapy

Special medicines are given to the patient in the form of pills or through the veins to kill or shrink the cancer cells. 

  • Radiation Therapy

Radiations in the form of high-powered energy beans like protons or X-rays are used for killing the cancer cells. This therapy may cause menopause. If patients have plans to conceive, they need to discuss it with the doctors so that your eggs can be preserved before treatment begins.

Doctors will recommend any one of these or a combination of these treatment methods to be followed at the best cancer hospitals in Delhi.

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