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    Most popular 60 Sign's and type's of cancer most people don't know

    Most Popular 60 Signs and types of cancer most people dont know

    90% Peoples Who Affected By Cancer It's Because They Have No Good Information About It.Here are the complete information about,Cancer horoscope,cancer sign,cancer stages,cancer zodiac,Cancer cure,cancer dates,cancer traits,cancer and Virgo,cancer personality,cancer awareness month.

    Cancer Overview

    Cancer, also called malignancy, is an abnormal growth of cells. There are more than 100 types of cancer, including breast cancer, skin cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, and lymphoma. Symptoms vary depending on the type. Cancer treatment may include chemotherapy, radiation, and/or surgery.

    In the world cancer is the second most common cause of death after heart disease.
    A significant percentage of newly diagnosed cancers can be cured.
    Cancer is more curable when detected early. Although some cancers develop completely without symptoms, the disease can be particularly devastating if you ignore symptoms because you do not think that these symptoms might represent cancer.

    Introduction to Cancer Symptoms and Signs

    Cancer often has no specific symptoms, so it is important that people limit their risk factors and undergo appropriate cancer screening. Most cancer screening is specific to certain age groups and your primary care doctor will know what screening to perform depending on your age. People with risk factors for cancer (for example, smokers, heavy alcohol use, high sun exposure, genetics) should be acutely aware of potential cancer symptoms and be evaluated by a physician if any develop. The best way to fight cancers is by prevention (eliminating or decreasing risk factors) and early detection.

    Cancer treatment advances every year and combined with early detection has made many cancers treatable.

    Consequently, individuals need to know which symptoms might point to cancer. People should not ignore a warning symptom that might lead to early diagnosis and possibly to a cure.



    What Are 18 Signs and Symptoms of Cancer?

    Cancer gives most people no symptoms or signs that exclusively indicate the disease. Unfortunately, every complaint or symptom of cancer can be explained by a harmless condition as well. Some cancers occur more frequently in certain age groups. If certain symptoms occur or persist, however, a doctor should be seen for further evaluation. Some common symptoms that may occur with cancer are as follows:

    1.Persistent cough or blood-tinged saliva
    These symptoms usually represent simple infections such as bronchitis or sinusitis.
    They could be symptoms of lung cancer or head and neck cancer. Anyone with a nagging cough that lasts more than a month or with blood in the mucus that is coughed up should see a doctor.

    2. A change in bowel habits
    Most changes in bowel habits are related to your diet and fluid intake.
    Doctors sometimes see pencil-thin stools with colon cancer.
    Occasionally, cancer exhibits continuous diarrhea.

    Some people with cancer feel as if they need to have a bowel movement and still feel that way after they have had a bowel movement. If any of these abnormal bowel complaints last more than a few days, they require evaluation.
    Any significant change in bowel habits that cannot be easily explained by dietary changes could be cancer-related and needs to be evaluated.

    3.Blood in the stool
    A doctor always should investigate blood in your stool.
    Hemorrhoids frequently cause rectal bleeding, but because hemorrhoids are so common, they may exist with cancer. Therefore, even when you have hemorrhoids, you should have a doctor examine your entire intestinal tract when you have blood in your bowel movements.
    With some individuals, X-ray studies may be enough to clarify a diagnosis.

    Colonoscopy is usually recommended. Routine colonoscopy, even without symptoms, is recommended once you are 50 years old.

    Sometimes when the source of bleeding is entirely clear (for example, recurrent ulcers), these studies may not be needed.
    Unexplained anemia (low blood count)
    Anemia is a condition in which people have fewer than the expected number of red blood cells in their blood. Anemia should always be investigated.

    There are many kinds of anemia, but blood loss almost always causes iron deficiency anemia. Unless there is an obvious source of ongoing blood loss, this anemia needs to be explained.

    Many cancers can cause anemia, but bowel cancers most commonly cause iron deficiency anemia. Evaluation should include endoscopy or X-ray studies of your upper and lower intestinal tracts.

    4.Breast lump or breast discharge
    Most breast lumps are noncancerous tumors such as fibroadenomas or cysts. But all breast lumps need to be thoroughly investigated for the possibility of breast cancer.
    A negative mammogram result is not usually sufficient to evaluate a breast lump.
    Your doctor needs to determine the appropriate X-ray study which might include an MRI or an ultrasound of the breast.
    Generally, diagnosis requires a needle aspiration or biopsy (a small tissue sample).

    Discharge from a breast is common, but some forms of discharge may be signs of cancer. If discharge is bloody or from only one nipple, further evaluation is recommended.
    Women are advised to conduct monthly breast self-examinations.

    5.Lumps in the testicles
    Most men (90%) with cancer of the testicle have a painless or uncomfortable lump on a testicle.
    Some men have an enlarged testicle.
    Other conditions, such as infections and swollen veins, can also cause changes in your testicles, but any lump should be evaluated.

    Men are advised to conduct monthly testicular self-examinations.
    A change in urination
    Urinary symptoms can include frequent urination, small amounts of urine, and slow urine flow or a general change in bladder function.

    These symptoms can be caused by urinary infections (usually in women) or, in men, by an enlarged prostate gland.

    Most men will suffer from harmless prostate enlargement as they age and will often have these urinary symptoms.
    These symptoms may also signal prostate cancer.

    Men experiencing urinary symptoms need further investigation, possibly including blood tests and a digital rectal exam. The PSA blood test, its indications, and interpretation of results should be discussed with your health care provider.
    If cancer is suspected, a biopsy of the prostate may be needed.
    Cancer of the bladder and pelvic tumors can also cause irritation of the bladder and urinary frequency.

    6.Blood in the urine

    Hematuria or blood in the urine can be caused by urinary infection, kidney stones, or other causes.
    The blood could be visible by the naked eye or might be found on a urine examination (microscopic hematuria).

    For some people, it is a symptom of cancer of the bladder or

    Any episode of blood in the urine should be investigated.
    Hoarseness not caused by a respiratory infection or that lasts longer than three to four weeks should be evaluated.
    Hoarseness can be caused by simple allergy or by vocal cord polyps, but it could also be the first sign of cancer of the throat.

    7.Persistent lumps or swollen glands
    Lumps most frequently represent harmless conditions such as a benign cyst. A doctor should examine any new lump or a lump that won't go away.
    Lumps may represent cancer or a swollen lymph gland related to cancer.

    Lymph nodes swell from infection and other causes and may take weeks to shrink again.
    A lump or gland that remains swollen for three to four weeks should be evaluated.
    Obvious change in a wart or a mole
    Multicolored moles that have irregular edges or bleed may be cancerous.

    Larger moles are more worrisome and need to be evaluated, especially if they seem to be enlarging.
    Removing a mole is usually simple. You should have your doctor evaluate any suspicious mole for removal. The doctor will send it for examination under a microscope for skin cancer.

    8.Indigestion or difficulty swallowing
    Most people with chronic heartburn usually do not have serious problems.

    People who suffer from chronic or lasting symptoms despite using over-the-counter antacids may need to have an upper GI endoscopy.
    A condition called Barrett esophagus, which can lead to cancer of the esophagus, can be treated with medication and then monitored by a doctor.

    Difficulty swallowing is a common problem, especially in elderly people, and has many causes.
    Swallowing problems need to be investigated, because nutrition is always important.
    Difficulty swallowing solids can be seen with cancer of the esophagus.

    9.Unusual vaginal bleeding or discharge
    Unusual vaginal bleeding or bloody discharge may be an early sign of cancer of the uterus. Women should be evaluated when they have bleeding after intercourse or bleeding between periods.

    Bleeding that comes back, that lasts two or more days longer than expected, or that is heavier than usual also merits medical examination.
    Postmenopausal bleeding, unless expected on hormone therapy, is also worrisome and should be evaluated.
    Usually, the evaluation will include an endometrial biopsy, in which a doctor takes a small tissue sample from inside the uterus for testing.

    A Pap smear should be part of every woman's routine medical care.
    Unexpected weight loss, night sweats, or fever
    These nonspecific symptoms might be present with several different types of cancer. Pancreatic cancer can appear with weight loss and no specific pain.
    Various infections can lead to similar symptoms (for example, tuberculosis).

    10.Continued itching in the anal or genital area
    Precancerous or cancerous conditions of the skin of the genital or anal areas can cause persistent itching.
    Some cancers cause skin color changes.
    Several infections or skin conditions (for example, fungal infections or psoriasis) also can cause these symptoms. If itching does not stop with over-the-counter topical medications, your doctor should inspect the area.

    11.Nonhealing sores
    Sores generally heal quickly. If an area fails to heal, you may have cancer and should see a doctor.
    Nonhealing sores in your mouth or persistent white or red patches on your gums, tongue, or tonsils are also should raise concerns.

    Some nonhealing sores may be due to poor circulation (for example, diabetic foot ulcers).
    Headaches have many causes (for example, migraines, aneurysms) but cancer is not a common one.
    A severe unrelenting headache that feels different from usual can be a sign of cancer, but aneurysms may present in the same way.

    If your headache fails to improve with over-the-counter medications, see a doctor promptly.
    Back pain, pelvic pain, bloating, or indigestion
    These are common symptoms of daily life, often related to food intake, muscle spasms or strains, but they also can be seen in ovarian cancer.

    Ovarian cancer is particularly difficult to treat, because it is frequently diagnosed late in the course of the disease.
    The American Cancer Society and other organizations have been trying to make both patients and physicians more aware and consider this diagnosis if the classic symptoms are present.



    Understanding Cancer: Metastasis, Stages of Cancer, and More

    What Is Cancer?

    An illustration of cancer cells.
    cancer and virgo

    In the most basic terms, cancer refers to cells that grow out-of-control and invade other tissues. Cells may become cancerous due to the accumulation of defects, or mutations, in their DNA. Certain inherited genetic defects (for example, BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations) and infections can increase the risk of cancer. Environmental factors (for example, air pollution) and poor lifestyle choices—such as smoking and heavy alcohol use—can also damage DNA and lead to cancer.
    Most of the time, cells are able to detect and repair DNA damage. If a cell is severely damaged and cannot repair itself, it usually undergoes so-called programmed cell death or apoptosis. Cancer occurs when damaged cells grow, divide, and spread abnormally instead of self-destructing as they should.

    Malignant Tumors Vs. Benign Tumors

    Illustration shows benign (not cancer) vs. malignant (cancer) tumors.
    cancer compatibility
    A tumor is an abnormal mass of cells. Tumors can either be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).

    Benign Tumors

    Benign tumors grow locally and do not spread. As a result, benign tumors are not considered cancer. They can still be dangerous, especially if they press against vital organs like the brain.

    Malignant Tumors

    Malignant tumors have the ability to spread and invade other tissues. This process, known as metastasis, is a key feature of cancer. There are many different types of malignancy based on where a cancer tumor originates.

    Cancer Metastasis

    Illustration showing the examples of primary cancers and locations to which they can metastasize (spread).
    cancer dates
    Metastasis is the process whereby cancer cells break free from a malignant tumor and travel to and invade other tissues in the body. Cancer cells metastasize to other sites via the lymphatic system and the bloodstream. Cancer cells from the original—or primary—tumor can travel to other sites such as the lungs, bones, liver, brain, and other areas. These metastatic tumors are "secondary cancers" because they arise from the primary tumor.

    What Is Metastasized Cancer?

    Metastatic cancer retains the name of the primary cancer. For example, bladder cancer that metastasizes to the liver is not liver cancer. It is called metastatic bladder cancer. Metastasis is significant because it helps determine the staging and treatment. Some types of metastatic cancer are curable, but many are not.

    What Causes Cancer?

    The estimated percentage of cancer cases caused by identifiable and/or potentially preventable factors.
    cancer horoscope
    Certain genes control the life cycle—the growth, function, division, and death—of a cell. When these genes are damaged, the balance between normal cell growth and death is lost. Cancer cells are caused by DNA damage and out-of-control cell growth. The following is a partial list of factors known to damage DNA and increase the risk of cancer:

    Mutations Cause

    Genetic mutations may cause cancer. For example, mutations of genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 (linked to an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancers) can inhibit the body’s ability to safe-guard and repair DNA. Copies of these mutated genes can be passed on genetically to future generations, leading to a genetically-inherited increased risk of cancer.

    Environment Cause

    Cancer may be caused by environmental exposure. Sunlight can cause cancer through ultraviolet radiation. So can air pollutants like soot, wood dust, asbestos, and arsenic, to name just a few.

    Microbes Cause

    Some microbes are known to increase cancer risks. These include bacteria like H. pylori, which causes stomach ulcers and has been linked to gastric cancer. Viral infections (including Epstein-Barr, HPV, and hepatitis B and C) have also been linked to cancer.

    Lifestyle and Diet Causes

    Lifestyle choices can lead to cancer as well. Eating a poor diet, inactivity, obesity, heavy alcohol use, tobacco use including smoking, and exposure to chemicals and toxins are all associated with greater cancer risk.

    Causes of Cancer: Treatment

    Medical treatment with chemotherapy, radiation, targeted treatments (drugs designed to target a specific type of cancer cell) or immunosuppressive drugs used to decrease the spread of cancer throughout the body can also cause damage to healthy cells. Some “second cancers”, completely separate from the initial cancer, have been known to occur following aggressive cancer treatments; however, researchers are producing drugs that cause less damage to healthy cells (for example, targeted therapy).

    Cancer Symptoms and Signs

    Doctors examining different tools to help diagnose cancer.
    cancer sign
    There are more than 100 different types of cancer. Every cancer and every individual is unique. Cancer symptoms and signs depend on the size and location of the cancer as well as the presence or absence of metastasis.

    Common Cancer Symptoms and Signs

    Symptoms and signs of cancer may include:
    • Fever
    • Pain
    • Fatigue
    • Skin changes (redness, sores that won't heal, jaundice, darkening)
    • Unintended weight loss or weight gain

    Other more obvious signs of cancer may include:
    • Lumps or tumors (mass)
    • Difficulty swallowing
    • Changes or difficulties with bowel or bladder function
    • Persistent cough or hoarseness
    • Short of breath
    • Chest pain
    • Unexplained bleeding or discharge

    6 Types of Cancer

    Micrographs of squamous-cell carcinoma, Ewing sarcoma, multiple myeloma, acute leukemia, and Hodgkin's lymphoma.
    cancer traits
    Cancer can occur anywhere in the body. Broadly, cancers are classified as either solid (for example breast, lung, or prostate cancers) or liquid (blood cancers). Cancer is further classified according to the tissue in which it arises.

    What Is Carcinoma?

    Carcinomas are cancers that occur in epithelial tissues in the body. They comprise 80% to 90% of all cancers. Most breast, lung, colon, skin, and prostate cancers are carcinomas. This class includes the two most common skin cancers, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Also in this class is the glandular cancer adenocarcinoma.

    What Is Sarcoma Cancer?

    Sarcomas occur in connective tissue like the bones, cartilage, fat, blood vessels, and muscles. This class of cancers includes the bone cancers osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma, Kaposi sarcoma (which causes skin lesions), and the muscle cancers rhabdomyosarcoma and leiomyosarcoma.

    What Is Myeloma Cancer?

    Myelomas are cancers that occur in plasma cells in the bone marrow. This class of cancer includes multiple myeloma, also known as Kahler disease.

    What Is Leukemia?

    Leukemias are a group of different blood cancers of the bone marrow. They cause large numbers of abnormal blood cells to enter the bloodstream.

    What Is Lymphoma Cancer?

    Lymphomas are cancers of the immune system cells. These include the rare but serious Hodgkin lymphoma (Hodgkin’s lymphoma, also Hodgkin’s disease) and a large group of white blood cell cancers known collectively as non-Hodgkin lymphoma (non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma).

    What Is Mixed Cancer?

    Mixed cancers arise from more than one type of tissue.

    7 Common Cancers

    Estimated cancer deaths U.S. in 2013.
    cancer types
    Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States. The most common cancers diagnosed in the U.S. are those of the breast, prostate, lung, colon and rectum, and bladder. Cancers of the lung, colon and rectum, breast, and pancreas are responsible for the most deaths. The prognosis of different cancers is highly variable. Many cancers are curable with early detection and treatment. Cancers that are aggressive or diagnosed at a later stage may be more difficult to treat, and can even be life threatening.

    What Is a Breast Cancer?

    Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, and one of the deadliest. About one in eight women will develop invasive breast cancer at some point in her life. Though death rates have decreased since 1989, more than 40,000 U.S. women are thought to have died from breast cancer in 2015 alone.

    What Is Lung Cancer?

    Lung cancer is the second-most-common cancer in the United States, and it is the deadliest for both men and women. In 2012, more than 210,000 Americans were diagnosed with lung cancer, and in the same year more than 150,000 Americans died from lung cancer. Worldwide, lung cancers are the most common cancers.

    What Is a Prostate Cancer?

    Prostate cancer is the most common cancer found in men. In 2013, more than 177,000 Americans were diagnosed with prostate cancer, and more than 27,000 American men died from prostate cancer.

    What Is a Colorectal Cancer?

    Of the cancers that can impact both men and women, colorectal cancer is the second-greatest killer in the United States.

    What Is a Liver Cancer?

    Liver cancer develops in about 20,000 men and 8,000 women each year. Hepatitis B and C and heavy drinking increase one’s risk of developing liver cancer.

    What Is a Ovarian Cancer?

    About 20,000 American women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year. For American women, ovarian cancer is the eighth most common cancer and the fifth leading cause of cancer death.

    What Is a Pancreatic Cancer?

    Pancreatic cancer has the highest mortality rate of all major cancers. Of the roughly 53,000 Americans diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year, only 8 percent will survive more than five years.

    How Stages of Cancer Are Determined

    Tumor, Node, Metastasis (TNM) staging for breast cancer.
    Doctors use the stages of cancer to classify cancer according to its size, location, and extent of spread. Staging helps doctors determine the prognosis and treatment for cancer. The TNM staging system classifies cancers according to:
    • Tumor (T): Primary tumor size and/or extent
    • Nodes (N): Spread of cancer to lymph nodes in the regional area of the primary tumor
    • Metastasis (M): Spread of cancer to distant sites away from the primary tumor

    Some cancers, including those of the brain, spinal cord, bone marrow (lymphoma), blood (leukemia), and female reproductive system, do not receive a TNM classification. Instead, these cancers are classified according to a different staging systems.

    What Are The Stages of Cancer?

    Chart illustrating the 5 stages of cancer.
    The TNM classification of a cancer usually correlates to one of the following five stages.
    • Stage 0: This refers to cancer that is "in situ," meaning that cancerous cells are confined to their site of origin. This type of cancer has not spread and is not invading other tissues.
    • Stage I – Stage III: These higher stages of cancer correspond to larger tumors and/or greater extent of disease. Cancers in these stages may have spread beyond the site of origin to invade regional lymph nodes, tissues, or organs.
    • Stage IV: This type of cancer has spread to distant lymph nodes, tissues, or organs in the body far away from the site of origin.

    Diagnosing Cancer

    Illustration shows the location of lymph nodes in the body.
    Various tests may be performed in order to confirm a cancer diagnosis. Positron Emission Tomography and Computed Tomography (PET-CT) Scans and other similar tests can highlight “hot spots” of cancer cells with high metabolic rates.
    The most common test and procedures used to diagnose cancer include:
    • Mammogram
    • Pap Test
    • Tumor Marker Test
    • Bone Scan
    • MRI
    • Tissue Biopsy
    • PET-CT Scan

    The Role of Lymph Nodes in Cancer Diagnosis

    Cancer that originates in the lymph nodes or other area of the lymphatic system is called lymphoma. Cancer that originates elsewhere in the body can spread to lymph nodes. The presence of metastasized cancer in the lymph nodes is may mean the cancer is growing quickly and/or is more likely to spread to other sites. The presence of cancer in lymph nodes often affects prognosis and treatment decisions. Many diagnostic tests look at the lymph nodes as an indicator.

    What Are Treatment Options?

    A doctor explains cancer treatment options to a couple in the hospital.
    The treatment is highly variable depending on the type and stage of a cancer as well as the overall health of the patient. The most common treatments are surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Other treatments include targeted/biological therapies, hematopoietic stem cell transplants, angiogenesis inhibitors, cryosurgery, and photodynamic therapy.
    Every treatment has potential risks, benefits, and side effects. The patient and his or her care team, which may include an internist or other specialist, surgeon, oncologist, radiation oncologist, and others, will help determine the best and most appropriate course of treatment.

    Is There a Cure for Cancer?

    Despite enormous effort and funding, no one cure has been found yet to eliminate cancer. In 2016, the United States announced a $1 billion investment into creating such a cure, named the “National Cancer Moonshot” by President Barack Obama.
    Until a cure can be found, prevention through a healthy lifestyle is the best way to stop cancer. Some ways to help protect yourself from cancer include eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, maintaining a healthy weight, abstaining from tobacco, drinking only in moderation, exercising, avoiding sun damage, getting immunizations, and getting regular health screenings.


    A doctor performs surgery to treat cancer.
    Surgery is often performed to remove malignant tumors. Surgery allows for the determination of the exact size of the tumor as well as the extent of spread and invasion into other nearby structures or lymph nodes – all-important factors in prognosis and treatment. Surgery is often combined with other cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and/or radiation.
    Sometimes, cancer cannot be entirely surgically removed because doing so would damage critical organs or tissues. In this case, debulking surgery is performed to remove as much of the tumor as is safely possible. Similarly, palliative surgery is performed in the cases of advanced cancer to reduce the effects (for example, pain or discomfort) of a cancerous tumor. Debulking and palliative surgeries are not curative, but they seek to minimize the effects of the cancer.
    Reconstructive surgery can be performed to restore the look or function of part of the body after cancer surgery. Breast reconstruction after a mastectomy is an example of this kind of surgery.

    Radiation Therapy

    A radiation therapist prepares a patient for radiation treatment.
    Radiation is a very common cancer treatment. About 50% of all cancer patients will receive radiation treatment, which may be delivered before, during, or after surgery and/or chemotherapy. Radiation can be delivered externally -- where X-rays, gamma rays, or other high-energy particles are delivered to the affected area from outside the body -- or it can be delivered internally. Internal radiation therapy involves the placement of radioactive material inside the body near cancer cells. This is called brachytherapy.
    Systemic radiation involves the administration of radioactive medication by mouth or intravenously. The radioactive material travels directly to the cancerous tissue. Radioactive iodine (I-131 for thyroid cancer) and strontium-89 (for bone cancer) are two examples of systemic radiation treatments.
    Typically, external radiation is delivered 5 days a week over the course of 5 to 8 weeks. Other treatment regimens are sometimes used.

    Chemotherapy Procedure

    A nurse administers chemotherapy through a catheter to a cancer patient.
    Chemotherapy, or "chemo," refers to more than 100 different medications used to treat cancer and other conditions. If eliminating all cancer cells is not possible, the goals of treatment may be to slow the growth of the cancer, keep the cancer from spreading, and/or relieve cancer-associated symptoms (such as pain).
    Depending on the type of chemotherapy prescribed, the medications may be given by mouth, injection, intravenously (IV), or topically. IV chemotherapy may be delivered via a catheter or port, which is usually implanted in a blood vessel of the chest for the duration of the therapy. Sometimes chemotherapy is delivered regionally, directly to the area that needs treatment. For example, intravesical therapy is used to infuse chemotherapy directly into the bladder for the treatment of bladder cancer.
    The chemotherapy regimen a patient receives depends upon the type and stage of the cancer, any prior cancer treatment, and the overall health of the patient. Chemotherapy is usually administered in cycles over the course of days, weeks, or months, with rest periods in between.

    Other Treatments

    Cancer research scientists working in a lab, discovering new cancer treatments.
    In addition to surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy, other therapies are used to treat cancer. These include:

    Targeted or Biological Therapies

    Targeted or biological therapies seek to treat cancer and boost the body's immune system while minimizing damage to normal, healthy cells. Monoclonal antibodies, immunomodulating drugs, vaccines, and cytokines are examples of targeted or biological therapies.

    Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplants

    Hematopoietic stem cell transplants involve the infusion of stem cells into a cancer patient after the bone marrow has been destroyed by high-dose chemo and/or radiation.

    Angiogenesis Inhibitors

    Angiogenesis inhibitors are medications that inhibit the growth of new blood vessels that cancerous tumors need in order to grow.


    Cryosurgery involves the application of extreme cold to kill precancerous and cancerous cells.

    Photodynamic Therapy

    Photodynamic therapy (PDT) involves the application of laser energy of a specific wavelength to tissue that has been treated with a photosensitizing agent, a medication that makes cancerous tissue susceptible to destruction with laser treatment. Photodynamic therapy selectively destroys cancer cells while minimizing the damage to normal, healthy tissues nearby.

    Ongoing Research

    Ongoing cancer research continues to identify newer, less toxic, and more effective cancer treatments. Visit the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to see a list of ongoing clinical trials.

    Cervical Cancer Symptoms, Stages, and Treatment

    What Is Cervical Cancer?

    Photo of hela, cervical cancer, cell.
    The cervix is the lower part of the uterus, where it extends into the vagina. Cancer of the uterine cervix affects over 12,000 women each year in the U.S. Most cases of cervical cancer are actually caused by an infectious agent, the human papillomavirus (HPV). It is highly curable when detected early enough.

    Cervical Cancer Symptoms

    Illustration of cervical cancer.
    At the very early stages of cervical cancer, there are usually no symptoms or signs. As the cancer grows, symptoms can include abnormal vaginal bleeding. Abnormal vaginal bleeding is bleeding that occurs between periods, during sex, or after menopause. Pain during sex and vaginal discharge are other possible symptoms.

    HPV: Top Cause of Cervical Cancer

    Photo of HPV virus illustration.
    The Human Papilloma Viruses (HPVs) are a large group of viruses, about 40 of which can infect the human genital tract. Some HPVs are known to cause cervical cancers, while others cause genital warts.

    HPV and Cervical Cancer Fast Facts

    • Most genital HPV infections go away on their own.
    • When they become chronic, genital HPV infections can cause precancerous and cancerous changes in the cells that line the uterine cervix.
    • Over 90% of cervical cancers are caused by HPV infection.

    HPV Symptoms

    Photo of HPV wart.
    The types of HPVs that cause genital warts are different from those that cause cervical cancer. Genital warts are not precancerous lesions and will not develop into cervical cancer. The “high-risk” or potentially cancer causing types of HPV can stay in the body for years without causing symptoms. Most infections, however, go away on their own and do not cause cellular changes.

    How Do You Get HPV?

    Photo of beach volleyball.
    HPV infection is extremely common. In fact, most men and women who have ever had sex will contract the infection at some point in life. In some people, the infection persists for years, even if they are not sexually active. Condoms may lower the risk of acquiring the infection, but they are not 100% effective.

    Other Places Where HPV Causes Cancer

    • Penis
    • Anal area
    • Vulva
    • Vagina
    • Oral cavity

    How HPV Causes Cervical Cancer

    Photo of HPV cells that can lead to cervical cancer.
    High-risk HPVs lead to cancer because they produce changes in the cells of the cervix. These are initially precancerous changes that can be recognized with screening tests. With time, the precancerous cells can develop into cancer cells. After cancer has developed it spreads within the cervix and eventually to surrounding and finally to distant areas.

    Other Risk Factors for Cervical Cancer

    Photo of woman smoking, a risk factor of cervical cancer.
    Women of Hispanic or African American ethnicity have a higher risk of cervical cancer than Caucasian women.

    Factors That Increase Cervical Cancer Risk

    • Smoking
    • Long-term use of oral contraceptive pills
    • Having many children
    • Having HIV or a weakened immune system
    • Having had multiple sexual partners

    Pap Test for Finding Cervical Cancer Early

    Photo of pap smear test, a way to detect cervical cancer.
    The Pap test has been a success in preventing many cases of cervical cancer because it is able to detect abnormal cells often before they turn into cancer cells. A swab is taken of the cervix that is then examined for abnormal cells.
    Women should have a Pap test every 3 years starting at age 21. From age 30 to 65, women can go up to 5 years between Pap tests if they get both a Pap and HPV test. If you are at higher risk, you may need more frequent testing. Skipping tests increases the risk of cervical cancer. Even if you have received the HPV vaccine, you still need Pap tests, because the vaccine does not protect against all the types of HPV that can cause cancer.

    What If Your Pap Test Results Are Abnormal?

    Photo of micrograph of pap smear used to examine for abnormalities.
    If there are minor changes seen on the cells in a Pap smear, the doctor may order a repeat test. He or she may also suggest a colposcopy, an examination that looks at the cervix through a magnifying device, or a biopsy of the cervix. Abnormal cells can be destroyed before they turn into cancer cells, and this type of treatment is highly effective in preventing cervical cancer.

    The Bethesda System and Squamous Cells

    Pathologists who study Pap test cells use a set of terms known as the Bethesda System to classify the results of the test. Abnormal cells are typically divided into seven categories.

    The Seven Cell Categories of the Bethesda System

    1. Atypical Squamous Cells (ASC) -- This is the most common group of abnormal cells. ASCs don’t appear normal, but whether they are precancerous or not is unknown. These are further divided into ASC-US and ASC-H, where ASC-H is considered more likely to be precancerous.

    2. Low-Grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesions (LSILs) -- These cells have mild abnormalities due to HPV infection.

    3. High-Grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesions (HSILs) -- HSILs are more likely than LSILs to progress to cancer if they remain untreated. Compared to LSILs, the sizes and shapes of HSILs are more dramatically altered from normal cells.

    4. Squamous Cell Carcinoma -- This is cancer, meaning the abnormal cells have crept more deeply into the cervix. This type of finding during a Pap test is very unusual in a place with extensive cancer screenings such as the United States.

    5. Atypical Glandular Cells (AGC) -- These are glandular cells of an uncertain type.

    6. Endocervical Adenocarcinoma in Situ (AIS) -- These cells are considered severely abnormal, yet they have not spread past the cervix’s gland tissue.

    7. Adenocarcinoma -- this is cancer, and may refer to cervical cancer, but also cancers of the uterus, uterine lining, and elsewhere.

    HPV DNA Test for Finding Cervical Cancer Early

    Photo of DNA analysis used to detect cervical cancer early.
    Testing for the genetic material (DNA) of the HPV viruses is a diagnostic test that can be done in addition to the Pap test. This test identifies the high-risk forms of HPV that are associated with cancer. The test may also be used in women who have had abnormal Pap test results.

    Biopsy for Cervical Cancer Diagnosis

    Photo of lab tech examining biopsy for cervical cancer.
    A biopsy is the removal of a small piece of tissue for examination in the laboratory. The examination can identify the presence of precancerous changes or cancer cells. Most biopsies can be done in the doctor's office.

    Cone Biopsy

    A cone biopsy is a larger biopsy that removes the area around the cervical opening. It can also show the spread of abnormal cells beneath the surface of the cervix.

    Cervical Cancer Stages

    Illustration of cervical cancer stages.
    The stage of cervical cancer refers to the extent to which it has spread.

    What Cervical Cancer Stages Mean

    • Stage 0 -- Stage 0 means that the cancer cells are found on the surface of the cervix
    • Stage I -- Stage I means the cancer is localized to the cervix.
    • Stage II -- Spread to the upper part of the vagina signals a stage II cancer.
    • Stage III -- Stage III tumors extent to the lower vagina
    • Stage IV -- In stage IV, the tumor has spread to the bladder or rectum, or to distant sites in the body.

    Cervical Cancer Treatment: Surgery

    Photo of scalpel in hand, preparing for surgery to treat cervical cancer.
    For cancers up to stage II, surgery is usually done to remove the areas of cancer. This generally means that the uterus is removed (hysterectomy) along with the surrounding tissue. The ovaries, Fallopian tubes, and lymph nodes in the area may also be removed.

    Cervical Cancer Treatment: Radiation

    Photo of radiation treatment for cervical cancer.
    External radiation therapy can be used to destroy cancer cells that may remain after surgery. Internal radiation (brachytherapy) involves placement of radioactive material inside the tumor itself to destroy cancer cells. Radiation therapy is often used together with chemotherapy to treat women with all but the earliest cases of cervical cancer.

    Side Effects of Radiation Therapy

    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Tiredness
    • Low blood cell counts

    Cervical Cancer Treatment: Chemotherapy

    Photo of chemotherapy treatment for cervical cancer.
    Chemotherapy may be the main treatment if cervical cancer has spread to distant sites in the body. Chemotherapy is the use of toxic drugs to kill cancer cells.

    Chemotherapy Side Effects

    • Fatigue
    • Hair loss
    • Loss of appetite
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Easy bruising

    Coping With Cervical Cancer Treatments

    Photo of woman eating cereal after cervical cancer treatments.
    Although cancer treatments can make you lose your appetite, it’s important to maintain good nutrition and keep up a healthy weight. Being active is also helpful since exercise can increase your energy levels and reduce stress. Your doctor can help you decide what kind of activity is best for you.

    Fertility After Cervical Cancer Surgery?

    Photo of couple in park, coping with cervical cancer.
    Since treatment for cervical cancer can involve removing the uterus and ovaries, future pregnancy may not be possible. However, if the cancer is caught early, there may be an option for future pregnancy with a treatment known as a radical trachelectomy. In this procedure, the cervix and part of the vagina are removed, but the majority of the uterus is left intact.

    Cervical Cancer Survival Rates

    Photo of woman swimming.
    Surviving cervical cancer depends upon the stage, or extent of spread, at the time it is found. Based upon women diagnosed between 2000 and 2002, 5-year survival rates ranged from 93% for cancers detected early to 15% for cancers that were widespread. But treatments and outlook are constantly improving, and these odds may be better today. And no statistics can predict exactly how one person will respond to treatment.

    Cervical Cancer Vaccine

    Photo of woman getting the cervical cancer vaccine.
    Vaccines are available to prevent infection with the types of HPV most likely to cause cancers.

    Popular Cervical Cancer Vaccines

    • Cervarix requires three shots over a six-month time period.
    • Gardasil also requires three shots over a six-month time period. Gardasil also protects against the two types of HPV that most commonly cause genital warts.
    Newer forms of these vaccines are in development.

    Who Should Get the HPV Vaccine?

    Photo of kids in class.
    The vaccines do not treat existing HPV infection, but they may prevent it. For best results, they should be given before the individual becomes sexually active.

    Girls and Young Women

    The CDC recommends giving girls the three-vaccine series at age 11 or 12. Girls and women aged 13 to 26 can receive a catch-up vaccine.

    Boys and Young Men

    Recognizing that HPV infections are often sexually transmitted and likely cause more than half of the cancers of the throat, and other sites, boys between ages 11 and 21 are also advised to be vaccinated.

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