Cervical Cancer: Symptoms, Treatment, Diagnosis
Affiliated: Cervical Insufficiency | Gynecologic Pre-Cancers & Cancers | Gynecology
What is cervical cancer?
Cancer that starts in cells of the cervix is called cervical cancer. It is commonly caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV) which is a virus 80% of the population is exposed to through genital contact. Cervical cancer is best prevented with the HPV vaccine. Early detection is usually possible with routine recommended pap smear and HPV testing to identify pre-cancers.
What are the symptoms of cervical cancer?
- Irregular vaginal bleeding
- Vaginal bleeding during and/or after intercourse
- Pain with sexually activity
- Pelvic pain
- Abnormal vaginal discharge
- Changes to bowel and bladder habits (i.e., urinary frequency)
What are the risk factors for cervical cancer?
- Human papilloma virus infection
- Being sexually active at a young age
- Having many sexual partners
- Weakened immune system (HIV positive, transplant patient)
- Smoking cigarettes
- Exposure to DES (diethylstilbestrol) in your mother's womb
What are the preventative measures against cervical cancer?
- HPV vaccination
- No smoking
- Appropriately timed pap smear and HPV testing
- Discuss concerning symptoms with your doctor
What should be discussed with my OBGYN?
- Talk about any concerning symptoms such as bleeding with sex, bleeding between periods, and pelvic pain.
- Ask if the HPV vaccine is an option.
- Ask how frequently pap smear and HPV testing should be done.
- If any abnormalities are found on pelvic exam, what further testing is warranted.
- Ask to receive your pap smear result.
What are the treatment options for cervical cancer?
Cervical cancer may be treated with surgery, radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy. UCLA OBGYN is dedicated to providing patients with individualized care. So, depending on your age, the stage, size and location of your cancer, our expert team may use a combination of treatments in caring for you and your cancer.