About Cervical Cancer
Cervical cancer is a rare form of gynecologic cancer in which cancer cells form in the tissues of the cervix (the cervix leads from the uterus to the vagina, which is the birth canal).
Facts About Cervical Cancer
Cervical cancer was once one of the most common causes of cancer death for American women, but between 1955 and 1992 the death rate from cervical cancer death declined by almost 70 percent. This dramatic decline resulted from the increased use of the Pap test. A Pap test detects changes in the cervix before cancer develops and can also find cervical cancer early, when it’s in its most curable stage.
It is estimated that more than 12,000 new cases of invasive cervical cancer will be diagnosed in the United States each year. The disease will claim the lives of more than 4,000 women during that same period.
Cervical cancer occurs most often in midlife, usually in women younger than 50. The cancer rarely develops in women younger than 20. Though one in five cases of cervical cancer occur in women over 65, regular testing to screen for cervical cancer before age 65 greatly reduces an older woman’s chances of having this cancer.
Cervical cancer is a slow-growing cancer. A Pap test can normally detect any cells that undergo changes. At this early stage, the cancer is more treatable. The cancer becomes more of a threat when it remains undetected and spreads into the cervix or surrounding tissue.
Most cases of cervical cancer are caused by infection with human papillomavirus (HPV). Vaccination against the HPV virus at a young age may prevent cervical cancer as an adult.
Recent research by two James’ physician scientists has shown how the HPV virus can damage DNA, leading to cancer-causing mutations.
OSUCCC – James is a pioneer in the treatment of HPV-related cervical cancers.
Cervical Cancer Symptoms
Early cervical cancers usually don’t cause symptoms. When the cancer grows larger, women may notice abnormal vaginal bleeding, including:
- Bleeding that occurs between regular menstrual periods
- Bleeding after sexual intercourse, douching or a pelvic exam
- Menstrual periods that last longer and are heavier than before
- Bleeding after going through menopause
Women may also notice:
- Increased vaginal discharge
- Pelvic pain
- Pain during sex
(Source: National Cancer Institute)
If you have received a cervical cancer diagnosis, or if you want a second opinion or just want to speak to a cervical cancer specialist, we are here to help you. Call 800-293-5066 or 614-293-5066 to make an appointment.
Toward a Cancer-Free World Blog
A new James study offers new hope for cervical cancer patients who want to have children. Read More
The James Cancer-Free World Podcast
The National Cancer Institute has awarded The James an $11 million grant to reduce cervical cancer in women in several Appalachian states. The program is led by Dr. Electra Paskett and includes smoking cessation as well as HPV screening and education about the effectiveness of the HPV vaccination in eliminating cervical cancer. This program will prevent cancer and save many lives.