Worldwide, cervical cancer is the third most common type of cancer in women. It is much less common in the United States because of the routine use of Pap smears.
Cervical cancers start in the cells on the surface of the cervix. There are two types of cells on the cervix’s surface: squamous and columnar. Most cervical cancers are from squamous cells.
Cervical cancer usually develops very slowly. It starts as a precancerous condition called dysplasia. This precancerous condition can be detected by a Pap smear and is 100% treatable. It can take years for precancerous changes to turn into cervical cancer. Most women who are diagnosed with cervical cancer today have not had regular Pap smears or they have not followed up on abnormal Pap smear results.
Almost all cervical cancers are caused by HPV (human papilloma virus). HPV is a common virus that is spread through sexual intercourse. There are many different types of HPV. Some strains lead to cervical cancer. (Other strains may cause genital warts, while others do not cause any problems at all.)
A woman’s sexual habits and patterns can increase her risk for cervical cancer. Risky sexual practices include having sex at an early age, having multiple sexual partners, and having multiple partners or partners who participate in high-risk sexual activities.
Risk factors for cervical cancer include:
Not getting the HPV vaccine
Poor economic status
Women whose mothers took the drug DES (diethylstilbestrol) during pregnancy in the early 1960s to prevent miscarriage
Weakened immune system
Back to TopSymptoms
Most of the time, early cervical cancer has no symptoms. Symptoms that may occur can include:
Abnormal vaginal bleeding between periods, after intercourse, or after menopause
Continuous vaginal discharge, which may be pale, watery, pink, brown, bloody, or foul-smelling
Periods become heavier and last longer than usual
Cervical cancer may spread to the bladder, intestines, lungs, and liver. Patients with cervical cancer do not usually have problems until the cancer is advanced and has spread. Symptoms of advanced cervical cancer may include:
Bone pain or fractures
Leaking of urine or feces from the vagina
Loss of appetite
Single swollen leg
Back to TopExams and Tests
Precancerous changes of the cervix and cervical cancer cannot be seen with the naked eye. Special tests and tools are needed to spot such conditions.
Pap smears screen for precancers and cancer, but do not make a final diagnosis.
If abnormal changes are found, the cervix is usually examined under magnification. This is called colposcopy. Pieces of tissue are surgically removed (biopsied) during this procedure and sent to a laboratory for examination.
Cone biopsy may also be done.
If the woman is diagnosed with cervical cancer, the health care provider will order more tests to determine how far the cancer has spread. This is called staging. Tests may include:
CT scan of the pelvis
Intravenous pyelogram (IVP)
MRI of the pelvis
Back to TopTreatment
Treatment of cervical cancer depends on:
The stage of the cancer
The size and shape of the tumor
The woman’s age and general health
Her desire to have children in the future
Early cervical cancer can be cured by removing or destroying the precancerous or cancerous tissue. There are various surgical ways to do this without removing the uterus or damaging the cervix, so that a woman can still have children in the future.
Types of surgery for early cervical cancer include:
Loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) — uses electricity to remove abnormal tissue
Cryotherapy — freezes abnormal cells
Laser therapy — uses light to burn abnormal tissue
A hysterectomy (removal of the uterus but not the ovaries) is not often performed for cervical cancer that has not spread. It may be done in women who have repeated LEEP procedures.
Treatment for more advanced cervical cancer may include:
Radical hysterectomy, which removes the uterus and much of the surrounding tissues, including lymph nodes and the upper part of the vagina.
Pelvic exenteration, an extreme type of surgery in which all of the organs of the pelvis, including the bladder and rectum, are removed.
Radiation may be used to treat cancer that has spread beyond the pelvis, or cancer that has returned. Radiation therapy is either external or internal.
Internal radiation therapy uses a device filled with radioactive material, which is placed inside the woman’s vagina next to the cervical cancer. The device is removed when she goes home. Obat kanker
External radiation therapy beams radiation from a large machine onto the body where the cancer is located. It is similar to an x-ray.
Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer. Some of the drugs used for cervical cancer chemotherapy include 5-FU, cisplatin, carboplatin, ifosfamide, paclitaxel, and cyclophosphamide. Sometimes radiation and chemotherapy are used before or after surgery. – Oleh : Penyembuhan Kanker Otak