Cervical cancer is an atypical overgrowth in the cells of the cervix, which is the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina. It is the third most common cancer in women.
The primary cause of cervical cancer is the infection caused by Human Papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted disease that can spread through skin-to-skin contact.
Usually, the body’s immune system fights the virus, but in some cases, it can prevail for many years and turn into cancer in the cervix. This can be avoided by regular screening and receiving a vaccine for HPV infection.
The International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) has established guidelines to measure the reach and size of cervical cancer.
There are four stages of cervical cancer: Stage 1, Stage 2, Stage 3, and Stage 4. These stages help the doctor decide and plan the most effective treatment for cervical cancer.
Stage 1 cervical cancer indicates that the cancer cells are within the cervix and have not spread to nearby organs or tissues.
Stage 1 cervical cancer is divided into two parts:
At this stage, the growth is so small that it can only be seen with a microscope. It is further divided into:
In stage 1B, the cancerous area is larger but is confined only to the tissues of the cervix. It can be divided into three groups:
Best oncologists recommend treatment based on the patient’s condition. They work closely with the patient to develop a treatment plan. Here are various treatment options for stage 1 cervical cancer:
Patients in Stage 1B1 cervical cancer are recommended chemoradiation. The primary treatment for cervical cancer with stage 1B1 or above is chemoradiation. During this, patients undergo chemotherapy and radiation therapy simultaneously. It also helps remove other cancer cells left in the lymph nodes, blood vessels or tissue after the surgery.
If a patient does not want or cannot undergo surgical treatment for cervical cancer, then radiation therapy is the best option. Sometimes, the doctor also suggests radiation therapy after the surgery to remove the cancer cells left in the lymph nodes, tissues, lymph vessels, blood vessels, and edges of tissue.
Surgical procedure is the leading treatment method for stage 1 cervical cancer patients. There are many types of surgery done for the treatment of cervical cancer.
The type of surgery will depend on various factors such as the desire to become pregnant in future, the stage of cancer, health, and the patient’s age.
The Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy (SLNB) is a surgical procedure doctors perform to determine whether cancer has spread past the primary tumour into the lymphatic system. The sentinel nodes are the first few lymph nodes where the tumour drains.
Unless cancer has spread beyond the sentinel nodes, it is unnecessary to remove them. However, the best oncologists may recommend removing more lymph nodes if a sentinel lymph node biopsy reveals cancer.
In Hysterectomy surgery, both the cervix and the uterus are removed. It is commonly advised to patients with stage 1 cervical cancer who don’t wish to conceive in the future.
Types of Hysterectomy for cervical cancer of stage 1 are:-
This surgery is ideal for stage 1A2 and 1B1 cervical cancer. In radical trachelectomy surgery, the cervix is removed from the top area of the vagina along with the pelvis’ lymph nodes, cervix tissues and structures.
Women can conceive again after this surgery. There are two types of radiation therapy: external & internal radiation therapy. Usually, it is performed five times a week for six to seven weeks.
Also Read:- How To Detect the Sign and Symptoms of Cancer?
Women who want to conceive and have stage 1A1 cervical cancer are generally recommended to undergo cone biopsy surgery. In this procedure, the surgeon removes a cone-shaped tissue piece from the cervix.
Later, the separated tissue is examined with the help of a microscope in a lab. By analysing the cancer cells in the lymph vessels, blood vessels, or tissue of the cervix and the size of the tumour, the doctors can judge whether the patient requires any additional treatment.
It is critical to start the treatment as soon as the tumour is detected to avoid any complications. The best hospitals have experienced oncologists and the latest technologies, thus providing the utmost care and proper treatment for cervical cancer.