Cervical cancer is a disease in which cancer cells grow in the cervix.
The cervix is the lower, narrow part of the uterus (womb) that connects the uterus with the vagina.
Cancer occurs when cells in the body (in this case, epithelial cervix cells lining the cervical canal) divide without control or order. Normally, cells divide in a regulated manner. If cells keep dividing uncontrollably, a mass of tissue forms, called a growth or tumor. The term cancer refers to malignant tumors, which can invade nearby tissue and spread to other parts of the body.
Signs and symptoms of cervical cancer
Women with early cervical cancers and pre-cancers usually have no symptoms. Symptoms often do not begin until a pre-cancer becomes a true invasive cancer and grows into nearby tissue. When this happens, the most common symptoms are:
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding, such as bleeding after sex (vaginal intercourse), bleeding after menopause, bleeding and spotting between periods, and having longer or heavier (menstrual) periods than usual. Bleeding after douching, or after a pelvic exam is a common symptom of cervical cancer but not pre-cancer.
- An unusual discharge from the vagina − the discharge may contain some blood and may occur between your periods or after menopause.
- Pain during sex (vaginal intercourse).
These signs and symptoms can also be caused by conditions other than cervical cancer. For example, an infection can cause pain or bleeding. Still, if you have any of these problems, you should see your health care professional right away − even if you have been getting regular Pap tests. If it is an infection, it will need to be treated. If it’s cancer, ignoring symptoms might allow it to progress to a more advanced stage and lower your chance for effective treatment.
Even better, don't wait for symptoms to appear. Be screened regularly.
Moore Regional Hospital offers chemotherapy, radiation therapy, intensity modulated radiation therapy, image-guided radiation therapy, high dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy, surgery, clinical trials and support for patients with cervical cancer.
In addition, Moore Regional has a team of highly qualified gynecologic surgeons on staff and offers robotic surgery as needed.
Located in NC, let our oncology specialists provide you with more information about cervical cancer treatment and therapy options. Our specialists provide cervical cancer and care in North Carolina to patients in Pinehurst, Raeford, Sanford, Rockingham, Laurinburg, Troy and Lumberton regions and beyond.