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Advances in early detection of cervical cancer health news


It begins in the uterus, the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina. Despite considerable progress in prevention and treatment, cervical cancer is still the fourth most common cancer in women worldwide. About 604,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 342,000 women die from the disease worldwide each year.

Although early detection and drug innovations are encouraging, the fight against cervical cancer requires a multipronged approach. These include promoting widespread access to effective screening programs, encouraging vaccination against HPV, and raising awareness of the importance of healthy lifestyle choices. Dr. Nitish Ranjan Acharya (Surgical Oncology), HCGPanda Cancer Hospital shares methods for early detection of cervical cancer:

Understanding Cervical Cancer, Types and Warning Signs:

The uterus is the lower part of the uterus that connects it to the vagina. Cervical cancer is often triggered by human papillomavirus (HPV), which results from irregular cell growth in the cervix. Although most HPV viruses clear up on their own, certain strains persist, leading to precancerous changes and, if undetected, potentially turning into cervical cancer.

Although cervical cancer is characterized as a single entity, it can be differentiated into several types:

• Squamous cell carcinoma- About 70-80% of cervical cancers arise from squamous cells. These cells are thin, flat cells that cover the outer surface of the uterus, also known as the ectocervix.

• Adenocarcinoma Cancerous cells form in glandular cells deep within the uterus, known as the endocervix or cervical canal. It makes up about 20-30% of cervical cancers. Adenocarcinomas can sometimes be more threatening and destructive than squamous cell carcinomas and can spread more quickly.

• Rare types – Melanomas, sarcomas, and lymphomas are rare types of cancer that occur less frequently in the cervix than in other parts of the body.

Possible warning signs and symptoms may include:

• Vaginal bleeding between periods, after menopause or after intercourse

• Pelvic discomfort

• Abnormal discharge that may be watery, bloody, or strong-smelling

• Unexpected and persistent back pain

The main reasons for the increase in cervical malignancy are:

• Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection: A sexually transmitted infection is primarily considered a contributing factor to the growth of tumorous cells in the uterus.

• Weak immune system: Health ailments like HIV/AIDS can compromise the body’s ability to fight various infections.

• Sexual intercourse and multiple sexual partners: Having multiple sexual partners or intercourse with an infected person increases the chance of HPV exposure.

• Smoking and tobacco use: Tobacco weakens the immune system and increases the risk of persistent HPV.

Diagnosis and early detection:

Early diagnosis and early detection of cervical cancer can significantly improve therapy options. Some effective methods and early screening tools include-

• Pap test – This test analyzes for cervical cell abnormalities that indicate precancerous or cancerous changes.

• HPV test – This test detects the presence of HPV, the virus responsible for most cervical cancers.

Regular check-ups and screenings are recommended by healthcare professionals. Some advanced diagnostics are providing new ways to detect cervical cancer.

• Colposcopy: Colposcopy is often used in conjunction with a Pap test. This procedure involves examining the cervix in suspicious areas using a magnifying scope.

• Liquid-based Pap tests: These tests offer improved accuracy and ease of interpretation compared to conventional Pap smears.

Beyond diagnosis: dietary considerations

• Be sure to eat fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants, which promote overall physical condition and well-being.

• Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids can play an important role in reducing infections and boosting immunity.

• Eat as many whole grains as possible, as they provide fiber, improve hormonal balance and aid in detoxification.