Explanation of Stage Four Cervical Cancer
The cervix is at the bottom of the uterus, the place where a baby grows during pregnancy. Cervical cancer is caused by some type of virus called human papillomaviruses (HPV). The virus spreads through sexual contact. Most of the female body able to fight HPV infection. But sometimes the virus causes cancer. You are at higher risk if you smoke, have many children, the Pill for a long time, or HIV infection.
Cervical cancer may not cause any symptoms at first, but then, you may feel pain in your pelvis or bleeding from the vagina. Usually it took several years for normal cells in the cervix change into cancer cells. Your health care provider can find abnormal cells in Pap test – examining cells from the cervix under a microscope. By doing regular Pap tests and pelvic exams, you will be able to find and treat the cells before they turn into cancer. Vaccine for girls and young women can protect against four types of HPV that cause most cervical cancers.
Doctors recommend that women reduce the risk of cervical cancer with Pap smears regularly. Pap test (sometimes called a Pap smear or cervical smear) is a simple test used to look at cervical cells. Pap tests can find cervical cancer or abnormal cells that can cause cervical cancer. Finding and treating abnormal cells can prevent most cervical cancer. In addition, Pap tests can help find cancer early, when treatment is more effective.
Stages of cancer based on where cancer is found. The following are the stages of invasive cervical cancer:
– Stage I: The tumor has invaded the cervix beneath the upper layer cells. Cancer cells are found only in the cervix.
– Stage II: The tumor extends into the upper vagina. Perhaps beyond the cervix into nearby tissues to the pelvic wall (lining of the body between the hips). The tumor did not attack the lower third of the vagina or pelvic wall.
– Stage III: Tumor extends to the underside of the vagina. May also have invaded the pelvic wall. If the tumors block the flow of urine, one or both kidneys can not work properly.
– Stage IV: Tumor attack the bladder or rectum. Or the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
– Recurrent cancer: Cancer has been treated, but had returned after a period of time that can not be detected. Cancer can arise again in the cervix or in other parts of the body.
Women with cervical cancer have many treatment options. The options are surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or combination of methods. Choice of treatment depends mainly on tumor size and whether the cancer has spread. Treatment options may also depend on whether you plan to become pregnant someday. Your doctor can describe your treatment options, expected results of each treatment, and possible side effects. You and your doctor can work together to develop a plan of your medical care appropriate to individual needs.
Your doctor may refer you to a specialist, or you can ask for referrals. You may want to see gynecologic oncology, a surgeon who specializes in treating women’s cancers. Other specialists who treat cervical cancer included gynecologists, medical oncologists and radiation oncologists. Your health care team may also include an oncology nurse, and registered dieticians.
Before treatment starts, ask your health care team about the possible side effects and how treatment can change your normal activities. Because cancer treatments often damage healthy cells and tissues, side effects are common. Side effects may not be the same for everyone, and may be changed at a subsequent treatment sessions. At each stage of the disease, additional treatments are available to reduce the side effects of treatment, to control pain and other symptoms, and help you overcome the feelings that arise due to cancer diagnostics.