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The cervix is the lower partof the uterus, or womb, that connects to the vagina. Cervical cancer starts on the surface of the cervix, and there are two types: squamous cell carcinomas, which account for around 80% to 90% of all cervical cancers, and adenocarcinoma, which account for around 10% to 20%.
The first symptoms of cervical cancer might include:
When the cancer has spread to other tissues, symptoms might include:
If you experience any of these symptoms for more than 2 weeks, always see your doctor.
Having regular pap smears and a pelvic examination will detect mostcases of cervical cancer. To confirm a diagnosis, your doctor will take a sample of tissue for a biopsy. If this confirms cancer, more tests will be done to see if the cancer has spread, which may include blood tests, urine tests, liver and kidney function tests, as well as x-rays of nearby organs.
The tests listed above will be used to stage the cancer. The stages are as follows:
A gynecologic oncologist will recommend the best treatment for cervical cancer based upon many factors, including the cancer's stage, patientage, childbearing desire and general health. When diagnosed in the earliest stages, cervical cancer can be cured by removing the tissue that is cancerous. When the cancer is more advanced, a hysterectomy can be performed.
The three main types of treatment include:
Many casesofcervical cancer are linked toknown risk factors. Some of these can be avoided, while others cannot. Risk factors include:
Having regular pap smears and gynaecological examinations is the most important thing you can do to prevent cervical cancer. In the UAE, it is recommended that women aged 25 to 29 have a pap smear every 3 years, and women aged 30 to 65 have a pap smear every 5 years as well as an HPV test. Testing should be more frequent if there is a history of abnormal pap smears or if HPV is present.
A vaccination is approved for use in females aged 13 to 26, to offerprotection againstcervical cancer, by building immunity against HPV.
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This information is provided by Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, part of Mubadala Healthcare, and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.