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Cervical Cancer

About the Department

The lowest portion of a woman’s body that connects the vagina with the womb and in turn the uterus is the uterine cervix. There are a number of cells present in the cervix. If there is an abnormal growth in these cells, there is a possibility that these cells may infest the body’s tissues and organs. This can ultimately lead to cervical cancer in the woman.

A common cause of cervical cancer in a woman is due to a sexually transmitted infection known as HPV or the human papillomavirus. If the woman’s immune system faces HPV exposure, the instant reaction in the body is an immediate prevention of the virus being able to cause tangible harm to the woman. In some cases, the HPV may be able to stay alive in the woman’s body for a number of years. This in turn causes select cells on the cervix’s surface to turn cancerous. 

Most sexually active women between the age of 30 and 55 are vulnerable to cervical cancer. The precancerous changes in the cervix typically occur when the woman is in her 20s and 30s.  However, as the disease is slow-progressing, it may take several years before the actual detection happens, when the woman is probably in her 50s. 

The department of Cervical Cancer at Fortis Bannerghatta brings together a team of renowned oncologists along with state-of-the-art facilities. Using the most advanced techniques in medicine, Fortis offers you a complete, multidisciplinary, diagnostic approach to the treatment of cervical cancer, where you know that you will certainly be looked after well. The team comprising of experts in cervical cancer in consultation with gynaecologists, obstetrics, and radiologists will formulate your plan of treatment.

Defeating cancer is what we at Fortis Bannerghatta are committed to. We understand the importance of protecting the quality of your life. Using a minimally invasive surgical approach, our team of surgeons offer you a faster recovery period with the least pain. 

Treating cervical cancer is a trying time for you and your family. At Fortis, Bannerghatta, we understand this physical and emotional turmoil and offer support and guidance to you and your family through trained counsellors during your treatment and even after you go home. We will work with your family through a series of meetings that can be scheduled as per their convenience. Our motive is to help you get better as soon as possible by discussing your care plans with you and your family members. By fitting in the care that we offer into your lifestyle, we will help expedite your recovery process. We and you are a team, and regardless of what your health condition is at present, you may have full faith and confidence in our years of experience, knowledge and competence in fighting cancer. 

Areas of Care

In many instances, we see that cervical cancer survivors face the risk of secondary cancers like:

- HPV-related cancers such as oropharynx cancers, female genital sites as well as cancers relating to the rectum/anus
- Smoking-related cancers, for example, lung, pancreas and the bladder
- Colon Cancer
- Ovarian Cancer

At Fortis, Bannerghatta, our team of experts face some really complex and challenging cases in cancer. By investing in multiple areas of care, we are able to fully support your physical and emotional well-being during this time.

Symptoms & Diagnosis

Signs and Symptoms of Cervical Cancers 

Detecting cervical cancer in the early stages is difficult as there are usually no symptoms. The most common sign that a woman may experience is abnormal vaginal bleeding which may occur pre or post intercourse, in between two menstrual cycles or even after you have been through menopause. 

You will however see some signs and symptoms if the cervical cancer has progressed to a more advanced stage. They are:

- A constant pain, if the cervical cancer has advanced
- A vaginal discharge, watery in consistency which may become subsequently heavy in flow, omitting a foul stench
- An abnormal vaginal bleeding in between menstrual cycles
- Pain in the pelvic area during sexual intercourse
- Kidney failure as there may be bowel obstruction if the cancer has advanced severely

Abnormal vaginal bleeding alone does not indicate that a woman has cervical cancer. An appointment must be made with the General Physician who will be able to determine the symptoms better. If only the General Physician thinks there is one of more indicating factors pointing towards cervical cancer, then one should make an appointment with an oncologist within two weeks.

Our Diagnostic Services

The key to successfully treating cervical cancer, as is with all other cancers too, is an early diagnosis. Treatment at the precancerous stage has more chances of success as the infection is limited to only a very small portion of the cervix as opposed to achieving success in invasive cancer that has probably affected a more significant portion of the cervix and may have spread to tissues and organs in the body. 

At Fortis, Bannerghatta, these are the list of diagnostic tests that can assist in the detection of cervical cancer:

- Papanicolaou test or Pap Smear Test:

In order to diagnose cervical cancer, a sample of the cells from the surface of the cervix is collected. It is then analysed of abnormalities.

- Biopsy:

If abnormalities have been detected in the sample cells collected in the Pap Smear test, then a biopsy of the cervical tissue is recommended. 

- Colposcopy:

This diagnostic test is recommended in the situation that the Pap Smear test has detected abnormalities in the cells, but the physical examination of the patient is normal. This procedure examines the cervix by using a special microscope known a Colposcope. This test is able to determine if the cancer has become invasive and if another larger biopsy is required in order to fully understand the patient’s health condition. 

- Loop electrosurgical excision procedure or LEEP:

This diagnostic test is performed using an electrified loop of wire that allows taking a sample of the cervical tissue. This test helps to determine the types of cells which have spread across the underlying areas.

- Conization or Cone Biopsy:

By removing a cone-shaped portion of the cervix under anesthesia, with the help of a LEEP, scalpel or laser, the invasive nature of the cancer in the body is determined. 

If there is a successful detection and diagnosis that it is cervical cancer, then the next stage of diagnostic tests will check if the cancer has spread to any other parts of the body. In order to do so, the oncologist may recommend:

- Cystoscopy and Proctoscopy:

These tests are able to measure the present condition of the urethra or the bladder and the rectum by using lighted tubes and check for the presence of cancerous cells.

- CT Scan & Chest X-Ray:

If the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes, lungs, or other parts of the body, the CT Scan assists in detecting the same. The chest x-ray checks if the cancer has spread to the lungs.

- MRI:

This scan reveals detailed images of the body that helps to see if the cancer has spread to the pelvis, brain or spinal cord.

- Position Emission Tomography or PET:

During this diagnostic test, a radioactive sugar is used that cancer cells can absorb. With a special camera, the spot where the cancer cells absorbed the sugar can be identified, in turn also determining the part where cancer may have spread apart from the cervix.

Additional tests may be recommended to further diagnose the stage of the cervical cancer by the doctor.

Treatment Options

Depending on the stage of the cervical cancer, the experts at Fortis will determine the treatment plan.

- Early Stage:

- Surgical Therapy

  • Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure or LEEP
  • Laser Surgery and Laser Therapy
  • Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy
  • Trachelectomy
  • Hysterectomy

- Radiation Therapy

  • Brachytherapy
  • Radiation Therapy
  • External Radiation

- Medical Therapy

  • Chemotherapy
  • Chemotherapy and RT Sessions
  • Immunotherapy
  • Hormone Therapy

- Recurrent Stage:

- Radiation Oncology

  • Intraoperative Radiation Therapy or IORT
  • Radiation Therapy

- Medical Therapy

  • Chemotherapy
  • Chemotherapy and Radiation
  • Immunotherapy

- Advanced Stage:

- Surgical Therapy

  • Pelvic exenteration surgery

- Radiation Oncology

  • Intraoperative Radiation Therapy or IORT
  • Radiation Therapy

- Medical Therapy

  • Chemotherapy
  • Chemotherapy and Radiation
  • Immunotherapy

Your oncologist at Fortis Bannerghatta will discuss the treatment plan with you and your family at length that will help you to make an informed decision.

Our Team That Cares

At Fortis Bannerghatta, you will work with an experienced team of doctors who are passionate about women’s health. We believe in a patient-first approach that results from our knowledge, skills and expertise amassed over the years. By using the most advanced scientific techniques and therapeutic treatments, Fortis demonstrates that it cares for your good health.