Cervical Cancer Surgery

Cervical Cancer

What is the cervix?

  • Opening of the uterus into the vagina
  • Two cell types present (squamous and glandular)
  • Cervical cancer tends to occur where the two cell types meet

The central cause of cervical cancer is human papillomavirus or HPV:

  • HPV is transmitted through sexual contact
  • The HPV detected today could have been acquired years ago
  • There are many different types of HPV that can infect the cervix, vagina, and vulva
  • ‘High-risk’ types may cause precancer and cancer of the cervix
  • Most women who are infected with HPV will never have any symptoms

At-risk individuals:

  • Women who have had more than one partner
  • Women whose partner(s) has had more than one sexual partner
  • Women who have had a sexually-transmitted disease

What is a Pap test?

  • A test which collects cells from the surface of the cervix and looks for any abnormal cells
  • Abnormal cells can be treated before cervical cancer develops
  • When cancer is detected early, it is easier to treat

What is a cervical biopsy?

  • Removal of a small piece of tissue from the cervix
  • May feel like getting a Pap test or like a menstrual cramp that lasts a few seconds
  • Mildly abnormal (CIN-I)
  • More abnormal (CIN-II)
  • Pre-cancer (CIN-III)
  • Cancer

What is a cervical conization?

  • Removes a cone-shaped piece of tissue
  • Often allows for diagnosis and treatment
  • Performed with under general anesthesia in the operating room

What is a radical hysterectomy?

  • Treatment option for early stage cancer
  • Not the same as the usual hysterectomy
  • Surgical removal of the uterus, cervix, and upper vagina with the surrounding tissues
  • Lymph nodes are removed
  • Removal of the ovaries is not required
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