Cervical Cancer: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

Cervical Cancer: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments
December 11, 2023 by admin

The cervix is the lowermost part of the uterus and connects to the vagina. Different strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV) have a key role to play in causing cervical cancers. Most often, the HPV infection is sexually transmitted.

Typically, your body’s immune system prevents the virus from doing any harm. However, in a small percentage of women, the virus manages to survive for years and causes some cells of the cervix to become cancerous.

If you reside in Chennai and you want to reduce your cervical cancer risk, you should undergo screening tests at the best cancer hospital in Chennai and receive a vaccine that can provide protection against HPV infection.

Cervical Cancer Causes

Cancer develops when the healthy cells in your cervix undergo DNA changes or mutations. The DNA of a cell contains instructions for its normal functioning. Healthy cells divide and multiply at a specified rate and eventually die after a certain time. Cells start to divide and multiply abnormally because of DNA mutations and don’t die. The accumulation of abnormal cells leads to the formation of a mass or tumour. These cancer cells attack the nearby tissues. When the cells break off from the tumour, cancer spreads or metastasizes to other parts of your body.

It is not very clear as regards the causes of cervical cancer, but HPV does have a key role to play. Though HPV is common, most people carrying the virus do not develop cancer. Therefore, other factors, such as the environment you live in or lifestyle choices you make, may also contribute to the development of cervical cancer.

Cervical Cancer Symptoms

In its early stage, cervical cancer typically does not produce any signs or symptoms. As it advances, the signs and symptoms that may develop include:

  • Bleeding from the vagina after intercourse and in between periods or post-menopause
  • Watery and bloody discharge from the vagina that is heavy and foul-smelling
  • Pain in the pelvis
  • Pain during intercourse

You must consult the best gynecologist in Chrompet, Chennai if you are experiencing any of these signs or symptoms.

Cervical Cancer Types

The different types of cervical cancer are:

Squamous cell carcinoma

The starting point of this type of cancer is from the thin, flat or squamous cells that line the outer surface of the cervix, projecting into the vagina. Squamous cell carcinomas are the most common cervical cancers.


This type of cancer starts in the column-shaped glandular cells lining the cervical canal.

Sometimes, both cells may be involved in cancer of the cervix. The chances of cancer occurring in other cells of the cervix are very low.

Treatment for Cervical Cancer

Understanding the type of cervical cancer you have developed is crucial to determining the treatment plan and prognosis. Besides that, there are factors like the stage of your cancer, your health condition, and your preferences. Often the treatment plan includes surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, or a combination of all three procedures.


If the cancer is in its early stages, then it is often surgically removed. A surgical option is considered depending on the size of the tumour, its stage, and whether or not you are thinking in terms of conceiving in the future. Therefore, the options are:

  • Removing the cancerous portion alone (cone biopsy) to enable you to become pregnant in the future.
  • Removing the cervix (trachelectomy). As the uterus remains, you may be able to conceive if you choose.
  • Hysterectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the uterus and can be done at the initial stages of cervical cancer and prevent a recurrence. However, you may not be able to conceive in the future because of the removal of the uterus.


Radiation therapy makes use of high-power energy beams (X-rays or protons) to destroy cancer cells. For cervical cancers that have advanced locally, typically a combination of radiation therapy and chemotherapy is employed. Combination therapy is also used after surgery if the risk of recurrence is high.

Radiation therapy may be given:

  • External beam radiation therapy: A radiation beam will be directed toward the affected area of your body.
  • Brachytherapy: In internal radiation therapy, a device containing radioactive material is placed inside your vagina for a few minutes.

If you have not reached menopause yet, then undergoing radiation therapy can cause the same effect.


Chemotherapy involves treatment using drugs that kill cancer cells. The drug may be taken orally or administered intravenously. Sometimes, doctors recommend a combination of both therapies.

In the case of locally advanced cancers, a combination of low-dose chemotherapy and radiation therapy is recommended. This is because chemotherapy enhances the effectiveness of radiation therapy. To control very advanced cancer, chemotherapy in higher doses is recommended.

Targeted therapy

Targeted treatments using a drug focus on specific weaknesses of cancer cells. Blocking these weaknesses leads to the death of cancer cells. Generally, chemotherapy and targeted drug therapy are combined when treating advanced cervical cancer.


Immunotherapy is also a drug treatment, and it provides support to your immune system in its fight against cancer. Your body’s immune system may fail to attack cancer cells because the proteins they produce make them undetectable. Immunotherapy interferes with this process and makes it possible for your immune system to detect cancer cells. Immunotherapy may be a treatment option in the case of advanced cancer and when other treatments are not effective.

Palliative care

Palliative care is all about providing pain relief. It also serves to relieve other symptoms of cervical cancer. Palliative care providers work closely not only with you but also with your family members and doctors treating your other conditions to ensure an additional layer of support to complement the ongoing care.

In conclusion, the fourth most commonly seen cancer among women around the world is cervical cancer. It can be cured provided it is diagnosed in its early stage and treated appropriately.

Sugam Hospital

The experienced oncology specialists at Sugam Hospital, the best cancer hospital in Chennai, offer comprehensive cancer care to patients. Medical and surgical oncologists work closely with radiologists to devise the best line of treatment for each patient. Furthermore, Sugam boasts of having one of the most advanced diagnostic labs in Chennai to enable early diagnosis and offer appropriate treatment. We also provide additional support and counselling to help patients cope with the physical and emotional stresses they experience.