Cervical cancer occurs in the cervix, or the bottom portion of the uterus that connects to the vagina. Certain strains of HPV, a sexually transmitted infection, have a part in causing many cases of cervical cancer. The immune system in most women can prevent this virus from causing harm, but a small group is susceptible to this condition creating cancer cells. At the Beverly Hills Cancer Center we are very proud to provide an excellent program for cervical cancer treatment at our nuturing Los Angeles facility, by highly experienced doctors.
Signs and symptoms of cervical cancer
Initial stages of cervical cancer do not elicit any symptoms, but as the disease progresses, signs and symptoms may include the following:
- Vaginal bleeding following intercourse
- Vaginal bleeding between periods
- Vaginal bleeding after menopause
- Vaginal discharge that may be bloody and have a vile odor
- Pain during intercourse
Should you be experiencing any signs or symptoms that cause you worry, make an appointment to see your doctor.
Tests and diagnosis
When it comes to cervical cancer, early detection is key. For this recommend, most doctors recommend women begin cervical cancer screening at age 21. The screening process may include:
- A very common kind of cervical cancer screening is the Pap test, in which the doctor brushes cells from the cervix to be examined by a laboratory. This test can determine if there are abnormal cervical cells, including cancerous ones.
- An HPV DNA test will detect whether you are infected with HPV, which may lead to cervical cancer.
If cancerous cells are established, further cervical cancer screening may be required to fully diagnose the form and degree of cancer. For diagnosis of the cancer type, the following tests can be used:
- Cervix examination, also called a colposcopy, in which a doctor uses a magnification tool to examine the cervix for abnormal cells.
- A biopsy of cervical cells can reveal more about the condition.
- A cone-shaped biopsy of cervical cells, allowing the doctor to examine deeper layers of the membrane.
Once a proper diagnosis has been made, the doctor will stage the cancer to determine its advancement. Staging exams include:
- Imaging tools, such as x-rays, CT scans, MRIs and PET scans all help determine if cancer has spread beyond the cervix.
- Visual examination of the bladder and rectum may also be used to see if the cancer has spread to other organs.
Cervical Cancer Treatment
The exact treatment plan will vary from patient to patient, but any case of cervical cancer may use three standard cancer treatment types: surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy, and is personalized to each patient to create the best cervical cancer treatment plan at our private Los Angeles facility.
A hysterectomy is surgery done to remove the cervix and the uterus. A simple hysterectomy may be performed when the cancer is at a very early stage. A radical hysterectomy—in which the cervix, uterus and part of the vagina and lymph nodes are removed—is performed when the cancer is slightly more advanced.
Radiation therapy uses focused beam radiation to eliminate cancer cells. This may be done externally, which is a completely non-invasive procedure. This may also be done internally—called brachytherapy—in which high-dose radiation devices are placed near the cervix. Depending upon the circumstances, the doctor may perform both methods of radiation therapy for the most effective results.
Chemotherapy is a method of using drugs intravenously to kill cancer cells. It may be used in conjunction with other forms of treatment, or it may be used by itself. Low-dose chemotherapy is frequently used with radiation therapy, as it may enhance the effects of radiation. High-dose chemotherapy may be used to control and manage more advanced forms of cervical cancer.
The first step to determine your route in obtaining among the best cervical cancer treatment Los Angeles has available is to call our the Beverly Hills Cancer Center at 877.320.5131. We are here to help you combat cancer through expert screenings, diagnosis and treatment plans.
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Your health is important, and we welcome the opportunity to help you heal.
To schedule an appointment, please call Beverly Hills Cancer Center in Beverly Hills, California at (877) 320-5131 or use our interactive Online Appointment Request Form.