Cervical cancer is cancer that grows in cells in the cervix. This cancer generally develops slowly and only shows symptoms when it has entered an advanced stage. Therefore, it is important to detect cervical cancer early before serious problems arise.
The cervix or cervix is the part of the uterus that is connected to the vagina. Its function is to produce mucus that helps transport sperm from the vagina to the uterus during sexual intercourse. The cervix also serves to protect the uterus from bacteria and foreign objects from the outside.
Cervical cancer or cervical cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in women. Based on research in 2020, there were more than 600,000 cases of cervical cancer with 342,000 deaths worldwide.
In Indonesia, cervical cancer ranks second after breast cancer as the most common type of cancer of all cancer cases in 2020. There are more than 36,000 cases and 21,000 deaths from this cancer.
Types of Cervical Cancer
Cervical cancer is divided into two types, namely:
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)
Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common type of cervical cancer. SCC begins in the cervical squamous cells, the cells that line the outside of the cervix.
Adenocarcinoma is a type of cervical cancer that begins in gland cells in the cervical canal.
Although rare, the two types of cervical cancer above can occur simultaneously. Cancer can also occur in cervical cells other than squamous cells or glandular cells, but this is very rare.
Causes of Cervical Cancer
Cervical cancer occurs when healthy cells undergo changes or mutations. This mutation causes these cells to grow abnormally and uncontrollably, forming cancer cells.
It is not known what causes the change in the gene. However, this condition is known to be associated with HPV infection.
Life expectancy in cervical cancer patients depends on the stage they are experiencing. This figure is an illustration of the percentage of patients who are still alive 5 years after being diagnosed with cervical cancer.
For example, an 80% life expectancy means that 80 out of 100 patients survive to 5 years or more after being diagnosed with cervical cancer.
The following is the life expectancy for cervical cancer patients based on the stage experienced:
- Stage 1: 80–93%
- Stage 2: 58–63%
- Stage 3: 32–35%
- Stage 4 : 16%
Cervical Cancer Treatment and Prevention
Treatment of cervical cancer depends on the stage of cancer experienced by the patient and his health condition. Actions performed by doctors include chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery, or a combination of the three.
The chances of cervical cancer patients to recover will be greater if this condition is detected early. Therefore, every woman is advised to undergo cervical cancer screening regularly from the age of 21 years or since marriage. In addition, the prevention of HPV infection that can trigger cancer can also be done with a vaccine from the age of 10 years.