Cervical cancer is one of the causes of premature death of women. World Health Organization data represents that annually cervical cancer causes the death of 270 thousand women around the world. Cervical cancer is one of the most common cancers in women. In this article, the mentioned disease and ways of its treatment abroad will be discussed.
Cervical Cancer: Causes
Cervical cancer is an oncological disease characterized by the formation of a malignant neoplasm in the cervical region. Cervical cancer is one of the oncological diseases, the cause of which is known.
Cervical cancer occurs as a result of exposure to the human papillomavirus (HPV). The human papillomavirus is sexually transmitted. There are more than 100 strains of the virus, but not all of them lead to the development of cancer.
Exist so-called oncogenic strains of the virus, which include 16 and 18. They cause cervical cancer in 70% of cases. Virus strains cause precancerous diseases, which over time lead to the development of a tumor.
Any woman who is sexually active can be infected with HPV. Some studies claim that all people who are sexually active, are infected with HPV infection. The virus does not always lead to disease, but significantly increases the risk of developing a neoplasm.
Neglected diseases of female reproductive organs may eventually develop into cancer if left untreated. Such diseases include not only HPV, but also other sexually transmitted infections - herpes, cytomegalovirus.
Erosions, polyps and other background pathologies can cause the development of precancerous diseases. The most common precancerous disease is dysplasia – the epithelial proliferation of a cervix.
A tumor in the cervical region can also develop under the influence of other factors. These include:
- Starting sexual life at an early age;
- Pregnancy and childbirth at an early age;
- Multiple sexual partners;
- Use of contraceptives;
- Weak immunity;
- Tobacco smoking;
- Elderly age.
The presence of one or more factors does not mean the absolute appearance of a tumor, but only increases the likelihood of developing cancer. Cervical cancer is not transmitted "by
Symptoms of Cervical Cancer
In the early stages, patients do not experience symptoms of the disease. A disease can only be detected if you refer to a doctor. With the growth of the neoplasm in the cervix of the patient, the following symptoms occur:
- Bloody discharge, that is not associated with menstruation. Similar symptoms may occur after intercourse. As a rule, they have a sharp unpleasant odor;
- Pain in the lower abdomen, lower back;
- Pain when urinating or defecating;
- Leg swelling (lymphedema of the lower extremities)
The prognosis of cure depends on the stage at which the patient finds cervical cancer.
Stage of development of cervical cancer and prognosis of treatment
Several stages of cervical cancer in women are distinguished:
- At the first stage of development, the neoplasm is located within the cervix. The prognosis of treatment is the most favorable - five-year patient survival is more than 90%;
- The second stage is characterized by tumor growth, however, it still remains within the boundaries of the cervix and does not affect the walls of the small pelvis. Cancer treatment at this stage still brings good results. Patients with cancer of the second stage live 5 years or more with a 60% probability;
- At the third stage, the neoplasm occupies not only the cervix, but also the lower part of the vagina. The prognosis of treatment is less favorable, patients live 5 years or more in 30% - 50% of cases.
- The fourth stage of cervical cancer is the most difficult. At this stage, the tumor grows into neighboring organs - the bladder, liver. Patients develop metastases in organs and systems located at a distance from the cervix. It is very difficult to cure cancer in the fourth stage. Patients live 5 years or more in 20% of cases.
Types of Cervical Cancer
The World Health Organization identifies two main types of cervical cancer - squamous and glandular (adenocarcinoma)
- In squamous cell carcinoma, a tumor develops from squamous cells that cover the vaginal part of the cervix;
- With glandular cancer (adenocarcinoma), a neoplasm is formed in the cervical canal of the cervix. Adenocarcinoma is diagnosed less frequently than squamous cell carcinoma; this type of cancer accounts for 5% - 15% of cases.
The structure of the cervical epithelium also matters. If the epithelial cells in which the tumor developed have the appearance of keratinizing, they speak of keratinizing cervical cancer. If the epithelial cells are not prone to keratinization, actively divide and have the correct shape, and a neoplasm has formed in the epithelium, then this is a non-keratinized type of cancer.
Cervical cancer varies depending on its maturity. The mature form of the tumor is less malignant than the immature one. Following types are distinguished:
- Differentiated cancer, i.e. a mature form of the tumor;
- Undifferentiated cancer, immature form;
- Low-grade cancer, medium-maturity cancer.
Diagnosis of cervical cancer abroad
Diagnosis of cervical cancer begins with a visit to a gynecologist. The doctor conducts a visual examination and in case of suspicion appoints additional tests.
- A cytological examination of the cervix can detect cancer or precancerous diseases. A patient takes a smear from the cervix (pap test) and examines the cells under a microscope. The analysis allows to detect the presence of atypical cells, in case of their detection, tests are prescribed for further examination.
- Colposcopy is the next step of diagnosis. The test allows the doctor to examine the cervix with the help of a magnifying device-colposcope. The procedure takes 10 - 15 minutes and is painless. The study allows to detect cervical cancer or precancerous diseases and evaluate the size of the tumor if any.
- The next step is taking biopsy samples. The doctor takes the material for the biopsy during colposcopy. The material is a tissue sample that is sent to the laboratory for examination. A tissue sample is taken from the cervical canal or outside the cervix. Some patients require both tests. A biopsy can determine the presence of a tumor and the stage of development of the neoplasm.
Ultrasound examination, CT scan, and MRI of the pelvic cavity are clarifying diagnostic methods. CT and MRI allow doctors to find out the size of the tumor and see if the lymph nodes are affected. As soon as all the information about the patient’s condition is received, the doctor will prescribe treatment.
Timely diagnosis allows detecting cancer at an early stage of development. Diagnosis should be carried out by an experienced doctor who can make the correct diagnosis, assess the stage of the disease and prescribe the necessary treatment.
The Caucasian Medical Center, located in Tbilisi, offers patients diagnostic services. The gynecological department of the center is led by a member of the Association of Gynecologists-Endoscopists of Russia and Europe Vadim Khatiashvili. Within 24 hours, the center’s doctors will do all the necessary tests to diagnose cervical cancer - cytology, colposcopy, biopsy, ultrasound, and MRI of the pelvic organs. All analyses are carried out using the latest equipment, which eliminates the likelihood of errors. Qualified doctors of the center will diagnose and prescribe further treatment.
Treatment of cervical cancer abroad
Doctors of the Caucasian Medical Center treat cervical cancer using combined methods. Patients undergo surgery and are prescribed chemotherapy drugs. At the Kutaisi Oncology Center, a radiation therapy method is used to treat cervical cancer and hormone therapy as well. Treatment is prescribed individually and depends on the condition of the patient, the presence of concomitant diseases, the stage of development of cancer and other factors.
Surgical treatment of cervical cancer abroad
Surgical treatment of cervical cancer involves an operation during which patients remove part of the cervix, cervix, or even the uterus, along with the appendages. This operation is called hysterectomy. In case of the absence of metastases and if the tumor is small, conization is done to patients – removal of the outer part of the cervix.
At the Caucasus Medical Center, operations are performed to remove a tumor located in the cervical area. If the neoplasm can be detected at an early stage, reproductive function is preserved in young patients. However, these issues are discussed individually with attending doctor.
Most patients with cervical cancer undergo surgery to completely or partially remove the tumor. After surgery, many patients experience stress. At the Caucasus Medical Center psychologist works with patients to help deal with stress and return to normal life.
Radiation therapy for cervical cancer is prescribed after tumor removal surgery. The method can be used alone or in combination with chemotherapy. Radiotherapy involves irradiating tumor cells, as a result of which they die.
The Caucasus Medical Center has modern equipment that allows you to irradiate exclusively the neoplasm without touching healthy cells and organs. Doctors can also adjust the radiation power during a radiation therapy session, which allows you to irradiate the tumor from different angles. This is possible, thanks to the high-precision radiation therapy technology IMRT.
Drugs that suppress the growth of tumor cells are prescribed if surgery is not possible, or as part of a combined treatment during the later stages. Chemotherapy is called systemic therapy because the medicine enters the body through the bloodstream and passes through the entire body. Patients of the Caucasus Medical Center are available the most modern and effective chemotherapy drugs. Taking drugs can reduce the size of the tumor and reduce pain, which significantly improves the quality of life of patients.
Cervical Cancer Treatment at the Caucasus Medical Center
The Caucasus Medical Center is the largest multidisciplinary clinic of the Evex hospitals chain. The chain includes 19 clinics in 6 regions of Georgia. At the medical center in Tbilisi, patients are offered modern diagnostic methods for cervical cancer as well as the innovative treatment methods. Doctors and nurses of the hospital are qualified specialists with working experience abroad.
Another advantage of the Caucasus Medical Center is the latest equipment. The hospital itself is designed to international standards. The hospital is a leader in healthcare in the region and offers patients affordable medical services.
The clinic conducts unique operations together with the Ministry of Health of Georgia. More than 2 million patients from Georgia and other countries have already successfully completed treatment at the hospital. Doctors of the medical center performed more than 200 thousand operations.
The clinic is a medical tourism center and attracts patients from different countries. Applying to the clinic is able with just a few clicks. It is fast and comfortable. You do not need to bother with administrative issues - the clinic staff will take care of everything.
The Caucasus Medical Center will buy a ticket for the accompanying person of a patient suffering from oncological disease. The patient is available round-the-clock support and help of doctors during treatment and after. Patient reviews about treatment are available on the website of the medical center.
If you are diagnosed with cervical cancer, consider all possible and affordable treatment options.