Is cervical cancer curable?
Cervical cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the lining of the cervix. The cervix is part of the female reproductive system and is located in the lower part of the womb, forming the opening from the womb to the vagina.
Cervical cancer remains one of the most common causes of death for women globally and ranks 4th of all cancers. Currently, every 2 minutes a life is lost to this disease.
Can cervical cancer be prevented?
Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable and successfully treatable forms of cancer, if it is detected and diagnosed early and managed effectively:
- Available prophylactic HPV vaccines protect against the common cancer-causing types of human papilloma virus and can significantly reduce the risk of cervical cancer.
- Testing for HPV-infection as part of a cervical screening programme in women aged 30-49 followed by the examination of the cervix for pre-cancers (early but visible changes in the cells, before they become cancer) permits local treatment and is a second opportunity to prevent cervical cancer.
Treatment of cervical cancer
The stage of a cervical cancer is the most important factor in choosing treatment. Stage is confirmed based on the pelvic examination findings by a GynecOnco-surgeon and on imaging (CT / MRI scan) findings.
Cervical cancer is curable if diagnosed at an early stage. It can be diagnosed early if the women are aware of the cancer symptoms and seek advice at the earliest if they experience such symptoms.
However, many times these symptoms are neglected by women as common period problems or infection and they present very late when the cervical cancer has spread to involve the surrounding tissues.
Treatment of more advanced stages of cervical cancer requires combination of Radiation therapy and chemotherapy. The chance of cure decreases once the cancer stage advances.