Human Body has been designed with great creativity and has been provided with great potential and numerous miraculous systems. Amongst such systems is a system of defense in our body which is known as the immune system. The immune system of man is an organization of defense mechanisms that keeps the human body clean from diseases.
A duty of this system is to eradicate all the abnormal cells from the body which have the potential to develop a cancer. But unfortunately due to certain factors and in spite of the strict control of immune cells, sometimes abnormal cells tend to grow and develop cancer. Cancer can be a threat to life if not treated early.
Cervical cancer is uncommon in occurrence. The cervix is present in the lower part of female human body just before vagina and just after the opening of uterus. A virus known as human papillomavirus (HPV) is thought to be the cause of cervical cancer. This virus can be transmitted through skin to skin contact and continuous infections of cervix due to this virus can cause cancer.
Cervical Cancer Stages
Stages of Cervical cancer
The progress of a cancer is determined by staging. Staging helps a doctor in determining the state of cancer, how far has it spread, what treatment would be required at a particular stage and so on. The stages of cervical cancer are 4 which are explained as under:
Cervical Cancer Stage 1
This is the initial one amongst the stages of cervical cancer which can be treated easily as compared to the other stages. Stage 1 of cancer of cervix refers to Carcinoma in situ (CIS) which means the cancerous cell are localized within the cervix and have not spread to the surroundings. This stage has two sub-divisions: Stage 1A and 1B; these two sub divisions are further divided according to the size of the cancer cells in cervix tissue.
Stage 1A refers to the microscopic size of cancer cells. It further divided into stage 1A1 and stage 1A2.During stage 1A1, the size of the cancerous cells have grown less than 3mm and are less than 7mm wide, whereas, stage 1A2refers to a bit grown size of the cancerous cells, usually between 3-5mm.
Stage 1B refers to the further enlargement of the cancer cells which are still in the cervix tissue. This stage is further divided into stage 1B1 and stage 1B2. During stage 1B1 the cells of cancer are not more than 4cm while in stage 1B2, the cells become larger than 4cm.
Cervical Cancer Stage 2
Stage 1 was all about carcinoma in situ. But stage 2 refers to the start of spread of the cervix cancer. It is divided into two stages, stage 2A and 2B. In stage 2 A the cancer spreads from cervix to upper part of vagina.
Photo Credit: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/cervical/Patient/page2
Based on the size of cells, stage 2 is divided further into stage 2A1, stage 2A2 and stage 2B. Stage 2A1 the cancer cells are about 4 cm or maybe less. In stage2A-2 the cancer cells have exceeded the range of 4cm. In stage 2B the cancer cells have spread up to the tissues that surround the cervix.
Cervical Cancer Stage 3
Cervix is situated between vagina and uterus and all this is contained in the pelvic cavity. So the surrounding parts are likely to be effected by the cancerous cells. Stage 3 has is subdivided into stage 3A and stage 3B. In stage 3A the cancer cells have spread to the lower part of vagina and in stage 3B the cancer cells have now spread to the muscles of pelvic wall and may press upon one of the ureters.
Cervical Cancer Stage 4
This is the final one amongst the stages of cervical cancer. At this stage cancer becomes more intense, advanced and complicated. It has two sub-divisions which are stage 4A and stage 4B. Stage 4A refers to the spread of cancer to the organs that are nearby such as bladder and bowel. Stage 4B refers to the state of cancer in which the cancerous cells have involved distant organs such as lungs and liver.
Cervical Cancer Treatment
There are various options for the treatment of cervical cancer. The option that needs to be chosen for the cervical cancer treatment depends upon the stage of the cervical cancer. There are some factors that influence the treatment of cervical cancer. They are: size of the tumor, patients’ age, stages of the cancer and patient’s desire for the children.
Cancer becomes complicated as it progresses through each stage. Radiotherapy and surgery can be the treatment in all stages. For the advancing stages chemotherapy can be implied. Treatment too goes complicated with the advancing cancer. Survival rates reduce as well. Hence, an early diagnosis and immediate start of treatment is quite much necessary.
Photo Credit: http://www.omsj.org/drugs/Cancer.htm