Flashcards in Cervical Cancer Deck (12):
People most at risk from cervical cancer
Sexually active women aged 30 to 45
Symptoms of cervical cancer
Often asymptomatic in early stages.
Abnormal vaginal bleeding:
- During sex
- Between periods
- Post menopausal
Main causes of cervical cancer
Almost all cases of cervical cancer are caused by HPV: a very common virus that is transmitted through any kind of sexual contact.
Which kinds of HPV are responsible for cervical cancer
There are hundreds of types of HPV, most of which are harmless.
HPV 16 and HPV 18 are responsible for most cases.
Do condoms prevent HPV spread?
They reduce risk, but do not eliminate it, since HPV can be spread from skin to skin contact anyhwere in the genital region.
How is cervical cancer treated?
Surgery, if discovered early. Hysterectomy may be required.
Radiotherapy often used as adjunct in early stages.
Chemotherapy and radiotherapy in later stages.
Side effects of cervical cancer treatment
Symptoms of advanced / invasive cervical cancer
Back / pelvic pain
Urinary and bowel frequency
Severe vaginal bleeding
How long between infection with HPV, development of CIN (cervical intraepithelial neoplasia) and development of cervical cancer?
Very slow progression.
Years to decades
Risk factors for cervical cancer
Smoking (2 times the risk)
Combined oral contraceptive pill (poorly understood)
Having more than 5 children
How is cervical cancer diagnosed?
Colposcopy and biopsy