Cervical cancer is a topic that I’ve always been interested in. From the moment I learned about Hela cells it truly sparked my interest and intrigued me to want to know more about cervical cancer. The fact that Hela cells are still dividing till this day many years after the death of the woman that they took these cells from is remarkable. I feel that it is of such great importance to know about it, because Hela cells in many ways set the foundation for a lot of vaccines that exist today. ( Hela Cells Tale of “Immortality”, Today’s Science). Cervical cancer forms in the tissues of the cervix. The cervix connects the body of the uterus to the vagina. The endocervix is the part of the cervix closest to the uterus and the part next to the vagina is called the exocervix. Squamous cells and glandular cells are the main two types of cells covering the cervix. There are also two main types of cervical cancer. They are squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma. Majority of cervical cancer cases are squamous cell carcinoma and the other cases adenocarcinomas. Cervical adenocarcinoma comes from the mucus-producing gland cells of the endocervix. (American Cancer Society). It typically grows slow and usually women with cervical cancer early on don’t have any symptoms. Symptoms don’t typically show until the cancer grows into nearby tissue. Some of the common symptoms are abnormal vaginal bleeding such as bleeding after menopause and bleeding and spotting between periods. Another symptom is unusual vaginal discharge and the discharge may contain some blood. Also, pain during intercourse is another common symptom. (American Cancer Society). Cervical cancer is usually always caused by a HPV infection. (National Cancer Institute). It’s spread through sexual infection. A woman’s body is able to fight HPV infection, but sometimes the HPV infection leads to cancer. Your at a higher risk for this if you smoke, use birth control pills for a long time, or have HIV infection. (National Institutes of Health). It is a virus that is passed through sex. (CDC). Cervical cancer can be found with regular Pap tests. A pap test is performed by scraping cells from the cervix to be looked at under the microscope. If abnormal cells are seen under the microscope then a biopsy will be done.
Treatment options for cervical cancer depend upon the stage of cancer, the size of the tumor, the patient’s age, and the patient’s desire to have children. If cervical cancer is found during the last trimester of pregnancy treatment may be delayed until the baby is born. Stage 0 is considered the pre-cancer of cervical cancer and it’s the earliest stage. At this stage only the surface layer of the cervix has cancer cells. At this stage options for treatment include cryosurgery, laser surgery, loop electrosurgical excision procedure, and cold knife conization. For women who wish to have children treatment with a cone