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Cervical Cancer – Causes And Symptoms of Cervical Cancer | Stages And Other Factors

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What is cervical cancer?

Cervical cancer is the cancer of the lower part of uterus called cervix. The cervix connects it to the vagina. When there is an abnormal uncontrolled multiplication of the cells of the cervix it develops into cancer. We will talk about complete causes and symptoms of cervical cancer in this article. Stay here and read complete article to know more about cervical infection and cervical incompetence symptoms of cervical cancer. Below are the image of Risk factor, Treatment and Symptoms of Cervical Cancer.

Risk factor, Treatment and Symptoms of Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer is the most common Gynaecological cancer in the world and the second most common cancer of women after Breast Cancer.

Usually seen in women after 35 years of age however can be presented up to their late sixties, the mean age being 52.2 years.

In the last few years, Mortality has been significantly reduced due to awareness in the society, more screening of middle-aged women, availability of new anti-cancer drugs, new surgical modalities, and higher use of anti HPV vaccines. We are working towards it! Everyone wants to know the cause of cervical cancer and symptoms of cervical cancer, here we have everything for them.

How does it happen?

Well, according to all the symptoms of cervical cancer all cells in the human body grow and die at a certain rate. A balance is maintained between the new cells and the old dying cells. It is when this balance is disturbed and there is an abnormal unexplained increase in the growth of cells without many of them dying out, leads to the development of cancer.

This abnormal multiplication of cells leads to the accumulation of cells which forms a “mass”. These cells can grow in size and travel to the neighboring tissues and distant parts of the body where it is called metastasis (spread of cancer).

What are the causes of Cervical Cancer?

There are many causes of cervical cancer but It begins with a change in the cervical tissue/ cells caused by a virus called HPV.

HPV (human papillomavirus) infection is the most common cause of cervical cancer. It is present in 99.7% of all cervical cancers.

There are a number of human papillomaviruses, HPV 16 and 18 being commonest amongst them.

HPV 16 is commonly linked with Squamous cell carcinoma and HPV 18 is commonly associated with Adenocarcinoma. Both former and latter are the commonest pathological types of cervical cancer.

HPV infection is usually seen in sexually active women or women with multiple sexual partners. More than 90 percent of sexually active women have been infected with HPV, making them more vulnerable to cervical cancer.

Risk Factors Of Cervical Cancer [Infographic]


risk factor of cervical cancer

Cigarette smoking: smoking is the second most common risk factor for cervical cancer. It affects relatively more people in developed and western countries. It puts a smoker women at a 4.5-fold higher risk than a non-smoking individual.

• Multiple sexual partners: having many sexual partners increases the risk of getting HPV.

• Low Immunity individuals: are more commonly affected than normal individuals, especially HIV positive individuals.

• Low socio-economic class: it is found to affect people who belong to lower socio-economic strata. It is mostly attributed to poor hygiene, lack of education and, low affordability for early screening,.

• Use of certain estrogen drugs during pregnancy: if there is a history of your mother using (diethylstilbestrol) a drug for the prevention of miscarriage during her pregnancy, it increases the risk of you having cervical cancer (clear cell adenocarcinoma type).

• Early sexual age: if an individual becomes sexually active at a very early age and or if becomes pregnant before 17 years of age, it increases the risk of developing cancer.

• Parity: more the number of pregnancies greater is the risk of cervical cancer.

These are the complete risk factors of cervical cancer, now let’s have a look at Symptoms of Cervical cancer below.

Symptoms Of Cervical Cancer:

complete signs and symptoms of cervical cancer


• Early symptoms Of Cervical Cancer consist of

– Abnormal vaginal bleeding

– Inter cyclic bleeding (bleeding between your date of last and starting of next menstrual cycle)

– Post-menopausal bleeding

– Yellowish discharge from the vagina which is unpleasant to smell

• Late symptoms Of Cervical Cancer include

– Collection of blood in the uterus (hematometra)

– Anemia (low Hb levels)

– Lower abdominal pain with back involvement and extending to the legs (pelvic pain)

– Difficulty in urination and passing stool ( cancer spreads to bladder and rectum)

– Passage of urine and stool from the vagina (fistula)

– Swelling and edema of both legs because of the involvement of deep veins of the legs.

after the getting complete knowledge about causes and symptoms of cervical cancer maybe you would know about it’s diagnosis and treatment. So, just keep reading –

know more…


• Visual examination of the cervix through vagina (Speculum examination): can reveal any unusual growth or ulcer present on the cervix, which commonly bleed on touch. A part of mass or ulcer can also be removed at the same time by special instrument and can be sent to the laboratory for confirmation of cancer, this process is called Cervical biopsy.

How the disease progress and what are the stages of Cervical cancer?


Progress of the disease

After the symptoms of Cervical cancer it spreads commonly by 3 different routes:

• Direct spread to nearby organs like bladder, Rectum, Vagina, Uterus, and side walls around the uterus.

• Lymphatic spread to different lymph nodes in the pelvis and to distant nodes in the other parts of the body.

• Bloodborne spread, to any other part of the body via the blood vessels.


There are 4 stages of cervical cancer according to standard international classification:

• Stage 1: where the cancer is limited to the region of Cervix.

• Stage 2: where cancer involves a part of the uterus, and/or the upper part of the vagina without reaching the sidewalls of the pelvis.

• Stage 3: when cancer reaches up to the sidewalls and/or can involve the lower part of the vagina. In this stage, it may also cause kidney problems because of the involvement of ureters which drains urine from the kidneys to the bladder.

• Stage 4: is when cancer grows outside the pelvis and/or involves the bladder, rectum, or other abdominal organs.

Staging after the symptoms of cervical cancer


Cervical cancer is further classified into various types on the basis of finding seen under the microscope. Accordingly, cervical cancer may be of the following types:

Squamous cell cancers,


Endometrioid carcinoma,

Clear cell cancer,

Small cell cancer, etc.

know more…


• Surgical Treatment is offered to the patient in stage 1 and early cases of stage 2 cancers. Various types of hysterectomies can be done which provides a good prognosis and near-normal post-surgery life. Nowadays the option of minimally invasive surgery (endoscopic surgery) and Robotic surgery is also available at specialized centers which gives excellent results and minimum post-surgery complications.

Screening methods:

It is advised that any woman above the age of 35 years has to get herself screened for cervical cancer every year. Pap smear is the commonest method, which is cheap and easy to do, and which can be done as a routine OPD procedure. In this method, the mucus over the cervix is taken with a specially designed wooden stick which is then fixed on to a slide and examined under the microscope. The stage before cancer, which is known as CIN (Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia) can be diagnosed even 7 to 20 years before its progression to Cancer. A significant number of lives worldwide can be saved with the help of periodic and regular screening with Pap Smear.

Colposcopy and VIA are another screening method where the cervix is visualized with a special instrument that has a camera attached to it. But, because of the higher expenses and lower availability of the instruments, it is less preferred in developing countries. Also, there are more chances of subjective errors which can give false-positive or false-negative results.

Most importantly, these days anti-HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccines are available. Ten to fifteen years of trials are already conducted with these vaccines where they have been found useful. As HPV is the commonest cause of cervical cancer, it is better to immunize the young girls in their puberty, before they become sexually active. This can provide them a life long protection against HPV and many cases of cervical cancer can be avoided in the future.

causes of cervical cancer and all about it's vaccine

Dr chinmay

Dr. Chinmay Patel

M.S Obstetrics & Gynecology
Diploma Endoscopy , CICE (France)
Infertility Specialist, NUH (Singapore)


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