House Call: Cervical Cancer Symptoms, Prevention and Treatment

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Similar to Ovarian Cancer, Cervical Cancer does not present with many distinct symptoms.

The main symptom of Cervical Cancer is post-coital bleeding, with other, less common symptoms being abdominal pain or foul-smelling discharge--which usually only present in advanced stages of the cancer.

Therefore, one of the best methods of early detection and/or prevention of Cervical Cancer is to get screened.

Fifty to seventy five years ago, Cervical Cancer was the number one cause of cancer death in women; now with the development and utilization of Pap Smears, Cervical Cancer does not even make the list of top ten incidences of cancer death in women.

More than ninety-nine percent of Cervical Cancer cases are caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV).

Therefore, the best method of preventing Cervical Cancer is to receive the HPV vaccine.

The vaccine is most effective when given before an individual becomes sexually active. The optimal age for females to receive the HPV vaccine is between eleven to twelve years, and is safe for individuals as young as nine.

There are two main forms of treatment for Cervical Cancer based on the stage of the disease.

For early stage Cervical Cancer, a surgery called radical hysterectomy is performed to remove the malignancies.

Spokesperson Background:

Dr. Kelly Leggett is an obstetrics and gynecology specialist and the medical director of Cone Health's Center for Women's Healthcare practices, located at MedCenter Kernersville, Stoney Creek and Women's Hospital.

She is a 2000 graduate of Wake Forest University School of Medicine and completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Long Island Jewish Medical Center.

For advanced stage Cervical Cancer, the treatment plan involves radiation therapy.

Cone Health's partnership with board certified gynecological oncologists at UNC Chapel Hill allows women diagnosed with Cervical Cancer, and other gynecological cancers to receive exceptional care and cancer treatment right here in the community--close to work, home and their support networks.