Cervical Cancer: Overview

Cervical cancer, or cancer of the cervix, is a cancer affecting the cervix, which is the entrance to the uterus in women. It has been strongly linked to the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and recently available HPV vaccines can greatly reduce the risk. Cervical cancer typically causes no symptoms until its later stages, and is often detected early only as an abnormality on a regular Pap smear test. Later symptoms may include pelvic pain, bleeding between menstrual periods, bleeding after sex, and other symptoms from the spread of the cancer to other organs, such as bladder symptoms or bowel symptoms. Differential diagnosis may include cervical polyps, other endometrial disorders or uterine disorders, or other causes of the particular symptoms. Treatment options for later stage cervical cancer include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery such as hysterectomy.

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