Cancer of the cervix (the organ connecting the uterus and vagina) can be a slow-growing cancer that may not have symptoms but can be found with regular Pap smears. Thanks to this screening process, the incidence and mortality rate from cervical cancer has shown a marked decline in the United States over the past 40 years. There are approximately 12,800 new diagnosed cases of cervical cancer per year.
The most common symptom of cervical cancer is intermenstrual bleeding in a woman of pre-menopausal age. Diagnosis is initially made by a Pap smear or abnormal physical finding and confirmed with a biopsy.
Early stage cancer confined to the cervix is often treated with a radical hysterectomy (surgery).
Locally, advanced cervical cancer can be treated with pelvic radiation and chemotherapy, followed by High-Dose-Rate (HDR) brachytherapy or Low-Dose-Rate (LDR) brachytherapy. The method of radiation therapy performed depends on the type and stage of the cervical cancer being treated.
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