The cervix is the lower part of the uterus (womb). It is sometimes called the uterine cervix. The body (upper part) of the uterus is where a fetus grows.
The cervix connects the body of the uterus to the vagina (birth canal). The part of the cervix closest to the body of the uterus is called the endocervix. The part next to the vagina is the exocervix. The place where these two parts meet is called the transformation zone. Most cervical cancers start in the transformation zone.
Doctor Kalibushi Patrick, who works in the gynecology department of the university teaching hospital of Butare, says that about 85% of cervical cancers are squamous cell carcinomas, which develop in the scaly, flat, skin like cells covering the cervix. He adds that most other cervical cancers are adenocarcinomas, which develop from gland cells or adenosquamous carcinomas, which develop from a combination of cell types.
Doctor Patrick highlighted that the retrospective and descriptive study that was carried out in the past six years at the obstetrics and gynecology department of university teaching hospital in Butare concerning 92 cases of cervical lesions that were suspected of malignancy that were admitted for consultation.
The doctor also points out that the considered parameters for analysis are; hospital prevalence, annual distribution, age, occupation, residence, symptoms, previous treatment, diagnostic procedure, histopathology results and prognosis.
Cervical cancer is the second most common type of cancer in women worldwide, after breast cancer, and also the leading cause of cancer related death rates among women in developing countries.
The disease can be diagnosed in young girls as early a 20 years and its highest incidence is observed around 40-50 years. Risk factors are early and frequent sexual intercourses, multiple sexual partners, high fertility, poor socio-economic status, sexual transmitted diseases, immuno suppression and in particular Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).
The cancer develops through different premalignant various degrees. It is screened and discovered by special examinations like paper smear, schiller test, colposcopy and biopsy. The treatment of the dysplasia of the disease is performed following the degree of infection.
Symptoms usually don’t appear until abnormal cervical cells become cancerous and invade nearby tissue. When this happens, the most common symptom is abnormal bleeding, which may start and stop between regular men
Treatment of the disease
This treatment involves cryotherapy, carbon dioxide laser, loop electrosurgical procedure, and cold knife conization. As for micro invasive cervical cancer, therapies such as; conization, radical trachelectomy, hysterectomy, radical hysterectomy and therapeutic lymphadectomy are used.
The affected cells of the cervix are removed from the body and also the doctor takes measures to prevent the occurrence of the disease. As the cancer is characterized by the presence of tumor cells and these cells have to be completely destroyed for the normal functioning again. Usually surgery takes place after the treatment of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Surgery is done in order to remove all the cancerous cells that are still present even after the procedure of radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
The treatment of cancer begins only after an analytical study is conducted by the doctor. This study is attained by them by conducting biopsy and other tests. If only the outer layer of the cervix is affected then the treatment becomes easier for the doctor. In case the infection has spread internally then the doctor must take extra care.
Before treatment the doctor must consider the metastatic level of cancer. The doctor removes the cancerous cells that are present in the organ. The factor of metastasis is known to the doctors by conducting tests and diagnosis.
When the cervix is affected then the precancerous lesions develop and the disease can be treated during this phase only because later it becomes complicated.