HPV, in other words human papilloma virus, is regarded as the cause of cervical cancer. It is a sexually transmitted infection, which has hundreds of types. Most infections cure themselves over time, but some types cause visible genital warts (condyloma) and cell changes in the cervix. Cell changes that remain untreated may lead to cervical cancer. A person with a papilloma virus infection carries the virus for life.
Symptoms of cervical cancer
Cervical cancer develops gradually. A first symptom may be bleeding after sexual intercourse or exercise, or bloody and foul-smelling leucorrhoea. If spread, cervical cancer may advance, among other things, into the vagina, pelvic floor tissues, urinary bladder and rectum. If the cancer progresses, symptoms may manifest as back pains, leakage of urine, fatigue, weakness and pain in the lower abdomen.
Risk of contracting cervical cancer
Besides being exposed to the HPV virus, the risk of contracting cervical cancer is increased especially by sexual activity started at a young age. The risk may be reduced by using a condom in sexual intercourse. Taking a HPV vaccine at the age of 11–12 can also effectively prevent the contraction of the virus infection.
Other known risk factors for cervical cancer are multiple sexual partners, hypertension, overweight, diabetes and no pregnancies. Smoking has also been found to increase the risk of cervical cancer as it worsens the recovery from a HPV virus infection.
Diagnosis of cervical cancer
Early diagnosis is a significant factor in the positive prognosis of cervical cancer. Cell changes indicating cervical cancer are often detected in the Pap test, i.e. gynaecological smear test. In the determination of tumor staging, for example, computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging of the pelvis are used.
Comprehensive treatment of cervical cancer at Docrates Cancer Center
The most common treatment for cervical cancer is a surgical intervention. A local precursor cervical cancer may also be treated by a loop electrosurgical excision procedure of the cervix. The prognosis for a widespread cervical cancer is often fairly poor, but its spreading can be slowed down by radiation and cytostatic treatments.
We treat our clients according to the latest international and domestic treatment recommendations. Our multiprofessional team of specialists provides each and every patient with individually tailored and comprehensive diagnostics and treatment as well as possibility of the newest medicines. Our team is made of numerous specialist doctors, including oncologists, radiotherapy doctors, gynaecologists, surgeons, isotope doctors, a radiologist, a pathologist, and also nurses who are all experienced cancer treatment experts. Our clients have the opportunity to participate in new drug treatments and clinical trials. We also offer complementary services, such as physiotherapy and sexual counselling.
At Docrates, gynaecological cancers are mainly treated by Ilkka Räisänen, Specialist in Obstetrics and Gynaecology and in Gynaecological Oncology together with Liisa Kokko, Registered and Counseling Nurse .
If you suspect cancer or have been diagnosed with cancer, you can make an appointment with a Docrates Cancer Center specialist without delay and referral. Our friendly personnel understand the fears and concerns related to cancer and can give you support from the first contact onwards. For further information, please contact our professional nurses, +358 (0)10 773 2000.