Cancer has always been an issue of concern for everyone.
It is a blessing if detected, diagnosed and treated at the initial stage or can lead to death if the symptoms are ignored.
Dr Ishaa Goel, a Guwahati-based gynecologist and obstetrician, in an exclusive conversation with Fit Northeast shares some unknown facts about cervical cancer.
Among all the cancers in the world, cervical cancer is one of the most rapidly increasing cancers, apart from cancer in the uterus and ovarian tubes.
Not only the world, but it is also even the most common genetic cancer in India.
It is that type of cancer that occurs in the mouth or entry point of the uterus, which is also known as the cervix.
Talking about its symptoms, the doctor told us that the most common symptom was discharged, which is often neglected. This is a pre-malignant condition, which if treated at the right time, the patient can live a healthy and long life.
Things turn wrong when most people ignore the white discharge and take self-medication which may give dangerous results in a long run.
The second important symptom is that apart from the monthly period of bleeding, one can even have off-and-on bleedings apart from her menstrual cycle.
In some cases, there may be contact bleeding which means having bleeding after sexual contact.
If detected at an early age, the patient can be operated on and lead a healthy life.If cancer enters the advanced stages, there may be weight loss, pain in the abdomen, a complication in stool and urination.
If cancer reaches the extremely advanced stage, sometimes the tumour might come out through the vagina and the patient can feel it.
It is not hereditary cancer and is not transferred through our genes.
The most affected age groups of the patients can be divided into two groups. One likely from 35 to 40 and in their late 60s.
In modern days the treatment of cervical cancer is very advanced. If detected at an early age, the patient can be operated on and lead a healthy life. If detected at an advanced stage, the patient is given chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Radiotherapies are heat therapies or radiation.
But there are some side effects of these therapies too. The patient might suffer from hair loss, weakness, lowered levels of blood in the body as a side effect of chemotherapy but due to radiotherapy, patients there may be narrowing of the urinary tract, more discharge from the genitalia as it is highly exposed to the heat.
The risk factors of this type of cancer include unhygienic and unhealthy sexual practices, having sex with multiple partners, not using condoms during sex.
The humanpappiloma virus is the main cause behind cervical cancer which is the most common sexually transmitted infection.
Amidst all the fear regarding cervical cancer, the ray of hope is that there are vaccines available for cervix cancer.
Cervical cancer can be diagnosed through a test called pap-smear which can be easily done at every private and government hospitals and are painless.