Are you having back pain with any of the following?

  • Severe pain, weakness or tingling in your leg(s).
  • Difficulty stopping urination or loss of control of bladder or bowels.
  • Unexplained fever, nausea or vomiting.
  • A history of cancer or unexplained weight loss.

We understand that you are experiencing one or more of the health issues that might be impacting your back pain.

We recommend that you discuss these health issues with your doctor before proceeding with this program.

Once you are cleared by your doctor to do this program, we hope it helps you find relief from your back pain.

Overview

Almost all cervical cancer is caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), which can be passed on during sex. If you have cervical cancer, please know that it's not anyone’s fault and you are not alone. We’ll help you learn about this condition and create a treatment plan.

Cervical cancer usually begins as abnormal changes (precancer) in cells on the surface of the cervix. The cervix is the narrow, lower part of the uterus. 

In the early stage, treatment can stop precancerous cells from becoming cancerous. If left untreated, in its later stages cervical cancer can:

  • Damage nearby organs and spread to lymph nodes.
  • Enter the bloodstream and spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body. 

Treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.

Risk Factors

Almost all cervical cancers are caused by human papillomaviruses (HPV), which can be passed on during sex. However, most women who have HPV never get cervical cancer.  

We know that HPV:

  • Has many variations, most of which are harmless and go away on their own.
  • Has a few variations that can turn into cervical cancer and a few that can cause genital warts.
  • Is carried, for a few months or years, by most people who have ever had sex. 

Your risks for HPV and for cervical cancer are affected by your general health and life choices, including:

  • Having many sexual partners (or having a partner who has had many sexual partners) increases HPV risk.
  • Smoking doubles cervical cancer risk in women who have HPV. Secondhand smoke exposure may also increase this risk.
  • Having a weakened immune system – due to HIV, chemotherapy, or other conditions – can increase HPV risk.

Symptoms

In its early stages cervical cancer may have no noticeable symptoms. 

As the cancer grows, one or more of these symptoms may occur:

  • Bleeding between periods or after having sex.
  • Unusually heavy bleeding during periods.
  • Pelvic pain.
  • Period-like bleeding after menopause.
  • Ongoing discharge from the vagina that has an abnormal color or odor.

Contact your doctor or nurse practitioner if you have symptoms or have missed your last screening exam. Catching cervical cancer early is the key to successful treatment.

Screening

Our most effective tools for preventing cervical cancer are screening and early diagnosis. These give us the best chance to treat you successfully if we detect abnormal cells.

To screen for cervical cancer, we:

  • Do a simple vaginal exam.
  • Examine your cervix.
  • Take a sample (a swab) of cells from your cervix.
  • Check the sample for HPV and abnormal changes to cervical cells at the lab.

A cervical cancer screening is usually done every 3 years, depending on your age and risk level. During screening, we look for:

  • HPV
  • Abnormal changes to cervical cells

Ask us if you’re unsure how often you should be screened.

You can reduce your risk for cervical cancer by:

  • Getting regular screening exams.
  • Practicing safe sex.
  • Avoiding smoking and other tobacco products.

If you’ve had cervical cancer, get regular follow-up exams. If the cancer returns, we can catch and treat it early.

Additional References:

Diagnosis

You may have a colposcopy examination as part of the diagnosis process. We do this exam if:

  • You have an abnormal Pap test.
  • Your HPV tests are consistently positive.
  • Your cervix looks or feels abnormal.

We use an instrument called a colposcope, which has a bright light and a magnifying lens. Anesthesia isn’t needed.

During the exam, we:

  • Look for abnormal areas on your cervix.
  • Remove a small piece of tissue (biopsy), if needed. 

A laboratory checks the tissue sample under a microscope.

If precancer is found, we may talk with you about treatment. Regular follow-up exams are important.

If cervical cancer is found, other tests may be used to learn if cancer has spread, including:

  • PET (positron emission tomography) scan.
  • CT (computed tomography) scan, which creates a series of X-ray images.
  • Cone biopsy. Under anesthesia, part of the cervix is removed, then checked for cancer.

Treatments

The treatment options for cervical cancer are surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Our recommendations for you are based on the size of the tumor and how far the cancer has spread (stage).

Together, we'll create the best treatment plan for you.

Additional References:

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