Cervical cancer is epithelial cancer that forms in the uterine cervix. It is the fourth most common cancer in the world.
Cervical cancer can be prevented through human papillomavirus vaccination, screening, and treatment of precancerous lesions. The earliest symptoms are watery discharge from the vagina, post-coital bleeding, or intermittent spotting.
Stages of the disease
Stage I: Carcinoma is restricted to the cervix
Stage IA: Invasive carcinoma, maximum depth of invasion ≤5 mm
Stage IA1: Maximum depth of invasion ≤3 mm
Stage IA2: Maximum depth of invasion >3 and ≤5 mm
Stage IB: Maximum depth of invasion >5 mm
Stage IB1: Maximum depth of invasion >5 mm and ≤2 cm
Stage IB2: Maximum depth of invasion >2 cm and ≤4 cm
Stage IB3: Maximum depth of invasion >4 cm
Stage II cancer: Cancer has not extended onto the lower part of the vagina or pelvic wall
Stage IIA: Only the upper two-thirds of the vagina was involved
Stage IIB: Cancer spreads to the parametrial region but not the pelvic wall
Stage III: The lower third of the vagina and pelvic wall gets impacted
Stage IIIA: The lower third of the vagina was involved but not the pelvic wall
Stage IIIB: Extended to the pelvic wall
Stage IIIC: Pelvic region and para-aortic lymph nodes are involved
Stage IIIC1: Pelvic lymph node is only impacted
Stage IIIC2: Para-aortic lymph nodes are impacted
Stage IV: Other organs beyond the pelvis are impacted
Stage IVA: Cancer was spread to pelvic organs
Stage IVB: Cancer was spread to distant organs
Bleeding between or following periods
Excess bleeding than normal during menstruation
Pain after intercourse
Pelvic or back pain
Increased vaginal discharge
Patients cannot diagnose the disease in the early stages.
Patients with symptoms should undergo a medical examination, which includes
History and physical
Complete blood count
Liver function test
Renal function studies
The extent of the disease can be determined using
Magnetic resonance imaging
Stage IA Cervical Cancer Treatment
Conization is a procedure in which abnormal cone-shaped tissue is removed from the cervix. If the invasion is less than 3mm, and the cancer has not spread to vascular or lymphatic channels, conization can be done for those patients who want to retain fertility.
Oophorectomy should not be an option for younger women.
Stage IA2 Cervical Cancer
Modified radical hysterectomy with lymphadenectomy
If the tumor invasion is between 3mm to 5mm, it is recommended to treat with modified radical hysterectomy with pelvic-node dissection. Radical hysterectomy with node dissection for patients in whom the depth of tumor invasion was uncertain.
Radical trachelectomy is recommended in patients with stages IA2 to IB disease who want to retain fertility. Cervix and lateral parametrial tissues are removed, but the uterus and ovaries are retained.
Intracavitary radiation therapy
Intracavitary radiation therapy is ideal for patients for whom medical conditions and surgery are not considered.
Stages IB and IIA Cervical Cancer Treatment
Radiation therapy with concomitant chemotherapy
Radiation therapy plus cisplatin-based chemotherapy is recommended for patients who require radiation therapy.
Radical hysterectomy and bilateral pelvic lymphadenectomy with or without total pelvic radiation therapy plus chemotherapy
Radical hysterectomy and bilateral pelvic lymphadenectomy is an option for patients with stages IB to IIA disease.
Stages IIB, III, and IVA Cervical Cancer Treatment
Standard Treatment Options for Stages IIB, III, and IVA Cervical Cancer
The size of the primary tumor is essential for determining the therapy. Treatment options for stage IIB, stage III, and stage IVA includes radiation therapy with concomitant chemotherapy
Lymph Node Management
Patients with small-volume para-aortic nodal disease and controllable pelvic disease can be cured with para-aortic radiation therapy.
Other Treatment Options
Stage IVB Cervical Cancer Treatment
Standard Treatment Options for Stage IVB Cervical Cancer
Palliative radiation therapy.
Palliative chemotherapy and other systemic therapy
Cisplatin in Combination with Other Drugs
50 mg/m² every three weeks is recommended treatment option