No family wants to experience a cancer diagnosis. It hits home like an earthquake, leaving you slow to recover in the aftershocks. In moments such as this, it’s vital to ask questions, seek answers, and conduct proper research in order to find a therapy or treatment solution that works for your lifestyle.
About Cervical Cancer
Where is Cervical Cancer Located?
Cervical cancer results from a buildup of cancerous cells in the cervix area, above the vagina and below the uterus. These abnormal cancer cells build to form a cluster that ultimately manifests as tumor matter.
- Over 13 thousand women in the US are diagnosed with cervical cancer with a mortality rate of 4000.
- Despite being the fourth most common type of cancer, it’s also the most recognizable and preventable.
Are There Different Types of Cervical Cancer?
There are two primary types of cervical cancer:
- Squamous cell cancer – This originates in the soft cells of the ectocervix wall
- Adenocarcinoma – A cancer type that develops in the mucous glands of the ectocervix and is typically more common among younger women
Causes and Risk Factors
What causes this type of cancer?
99% of all cervical cancer cases originate from the contraction of the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a common, sexually transmitted virus that affects over 50% of sexually active women in their lifetime. Not all of these cases will prove cancerous. The infection is self-healing, lasting approximately 2 years, and often it will go undetected.
Early Detection, Diagnosis, and Staging
Signs and Symptoms of Cervical Cancer
The early stages of cervical cancer can often manifest no obvious physical symptoms. Typically, the cancer is caught through a routine pap or HPV test, before the patient is even aware of a possible risk. As it spreads, the cancer patients may experience the following cervical cancer symptoms:
- Irregular Menstrual Cycle – Heavier blood flow or abnormal bleeding outside of the regular menstrual cycle rhythm.
- Pelvic Pain – Notable pelvic pain that is unrelated to the menstrual cycle.
- Heavy and Unusual Discharge – Coupled with bleeding, vaginal discharge outside of the routine menstrual discharge
- Problems with Urination – Including pain and difficulty urinating.
Test for Cervical Cancer
When a woman turns 21 or becomes sexually active, it’s recommended that they start the process of regular routine gynecologist checkups. This includes a pap test that specifically looks for precancerous cells and HPV presence. Cells are scraped from the walls of the cervix and investigated under a microscope in order to search out any early development of abnormal, cancerous cells. If present, the patient will be administered with an HPV vaccine to target the infection.
Depending on the results, a doctor will consider a biopsy in order to conduct a thorough medical examination of the pelvic tissue in order to locate the cancer more specifically and detect its spread.
The Different Stages of Cervical Cancer
Cervical cancer is tracked through a five-tier staging system, which is tied to the spread of the disease. This system marks the overflow to neighboring cells, through the tissue, to local lymphs, and finally to the blood. The severity of the cancer stage correlates to the treatment available. For example, cervical cancer type 1A will likely result in surgery such as a radical hysterectomy or removal of lymph nodes. Stage 3 or 4 will likely undergo clinical therapy such as chemotherapy or radiation.
Alternative Treatments for Cervical Cancer
Treatment for cancer patients typically comprises one or a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and medication to reduce potential recurrence. While these medical treatments can be effective, they can also come with difficult side effects that can be tiring for you and challenging for your immune system, making it harder to fight off the disease. Alternative treatments offer natural solutions to maintain recovery while regulating side effects from more traditional treatments.
Our team is committed to providing you with a completely personalized treatment plan that takes into account your personal needs and health. If diagnosed, we provide treatment using holistic, functional medicine in hopes to improve your health and well-being. We can guide you through every step of the plan and make adjustments based on changes to your health. One-on-one consultations ensure that we get to know you as a person. Contact us today to schedule a consultation for a custom treatment plan.
NCCC, Cervical Cancer Overview, https://www.nccc-online.org/hpvcervical-cancer/cervical-cancer-overview/
US Library Of Medicine, Pap Test, https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003911.htm
National Cancer Institute, Cervical Cancer Treatment, https://www.cancer.gov/types/cervical/patient/cervical-treatment-pdq#_142