The cervix is a very vital part of the female reproductive system, and to be precise, it is the lower portion of the uterus (or the womb). It is also known as the uterine cervix.
The unborn baby or the fetus grows in the upper part or the body of the uterus. It is the cervix that connects the main body of the uterus to the vagina lower down.
The cervix can either be affected by inflammation, infections or cancers. Cervical Cancers are basically tumors of the uterine cervix.
As in many lower-tract gynecological tumors, Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) infection plays a role in the etiology of cancer of the cervix. HPV can be spread from one person to another through either skin-to-skin contact or through unprotected sex. Having multiple sexually transmitted diseases (like Chlamydia), being immunocompromised (AIDS or HIV infection), or being a smoker may also contribute to the pathogenesis of cervical cancer.
Cervical Cancer still stands as the prime indication for a surgery of the cervix.
You could be a suitable candidate for surgery if you notice consistent vaginal bleeding, foul smelling yellowish discharge, and pain during sex or spotting after sex. In the later stages of cervical cancers, back pain, lethargy or nausea/vomiting can be also noted.
A surgical intervention has to be done on the cervix, the uterus if it is involved too and the removal of adjacent or involved lymph nodes.
Young patients, who wish to get pregnant ahead in life, may opt for uterus-preserving surgery. In these cases, a significant cone of the cervix can be cut out by conization or optionally, the whole cervix can only be removed by a procedure known as trachelectomy.
If needed, patients may have a simple surgical removal of the uterus called simple hysterectomy or the surgical removal of the ovaries and the upper vagina as well as the uterus called radical hysterectomy.
For more advanced stages, radiotherapy and chemotherapy should be given together. In this external radiotherapy, radiation is produced by an external source and targeted to the tumor as well as lymph nodes & vessels. The chemotherapy has an arsenal drugs to kill the remnant cancer cells in the body.
Your gynecologist and oncosurgeon will choose the type of surgery and therapy that best treats your cancer. Surgery on the cervix has been performed in the past few decades and has greatly served to improve cervical cancer survival rates.
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