Cervical Cancer

How does cervical cancer affect the body?

A Answers (3)

  • Cervical cancer only affects women. It can be a minor issue if caught and treated early, causing only a little damage to the lining of the cervix, or it can become devastating to the female reproductive organs and more if left untreated. If cervical cancer becomes invasive, a hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus and the cervix) may be necessary, leaving a woman unable to have children. The more cervical cancer has progressed, it is possible that a more radical version of a hysterectomy may be necessary, prompting removal of not only the uterus and cervix, but also the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the upper part of the vagina. If the ovaries are removed or damaged by radiation treatment, this could start early menopause. The cervical cancer could also spread to restrict use of the bladder or rectum, which may lead to their removal if they have become too damaged to function.

  • AHealthwise answered

    Cervical cancer happens when abnormal cells on the cervix grow out of control. Cervical cancer can often be successfully treated when it's found early. It is usually found at a very early stage through a Pap test.

    If cervical cancer isn't treated, it may spread from the cervix to the vagina and then into deeper tissue layers of connective tissue around the uterus. As it progresses, it may spread to the pelvic lymph nodes and other pelvic organs. Advanced-stage cancer may spread to lymph nodes; to other organs in the pelvis, causing problems with kidney and bowel function; or to other organs in the body, such as the liver and lungs.

    Treatment of cervical cancer depends on the stage of your cancer and if it has spread.

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  • ALarry E. Puls, MD, Obstetrics & Gynecology, answered on behalf of Greenville Health System

    Cancers of the cervix tend to cause most of their symptoms around the area where the cancer started (i.e., the pelvis). Examples of this would be vaginal discharge, bleeding with intercourse, blood in the urine or stools, and even pain if the cancer is advanced.

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