Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the cervix. For those unaware, the cervix is the neck of the uterus. This part changes in shape frequently. For example, when a woman is ready to give birth to a baby, this part will dilate to let the baby pass through. How is that possible for cancer cells to grow in this area? There are a few causes with HPV being one of the most common ones. Research shows that cervical cancer has to do with HPV infection.
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This is a virus that can be transmitted through sexual contact. That is why to prevent this cancer, safe sex is advised. Interestingly enough, many people don’t realize that they have this virus in their bodies because the symptoms are non-existent. The body actually has the ability to get rid of HPV. When it stays in the body, it can cause changes to the cells of the cervix. The normal ones can turn into abnormal over time.
Cervical cancer stages
Staging is needed to learn more about the development of the cancerous cells. At an early stage, it should remain in the area where it formed. But when the cells have spread to other parts, this is when the cancer can become life-threatening. There is a series of tests that the patient needs to receive to find out if cancer is still localized or has infiltrated other areas. Knowing the stage also allows the doctor to administer the right treatment. There are a few ways cancer can travel to other parts of the body. The first one, the cancer will grow in one location. And then it will go into the nearby areas, such as the rectum and bladder. Another scenario is the cancer would spread through the lymph nodes.
Stage 1 cancer indicates that the cancer has initiated its growth, but it has yet to spread to nearby areas. Depending on the size, the doctor may need a microscope to see it clearly. But when the tumor has grown big enough, it would be visible through the naked eye. Stage 2 cancer means the cancer can already be found in nearby areas, but not outside the pelvis. At this point, the tumor is already big which means we don’t need a microscope to see it clearly. It is typically around 4 cm in size. Stage 3 shows that the cancer has spread from the original site where it was first found.
Stage 4 cervical cancer
Stage 4 is the hardest to treat because the cancer has spread to distant areas, like the lungs. This stage is further divided into several stages. At stage 4a, cancer can be found in nearby organs. Meanwhile, at stage 4b the cancer has entered organs like the liver and bones. That’s all about cervical cancer stages.