The narrow part (cervix) of the uterus of the tip protrudes in the back of the vagina. Cancers arising from this cervical epithelium (mucosa) are called cervical cancer. At first, the cancer stays in the epithelium, but gradually invades the uterine muscle and transfers to the tissues around the vagina, uterus and lymph nodes in the pelvis. If it progresses furthermore, it will invade the bladder / rectum and spread to the lung, liver, bone, etc.
Human papillomavirus genes are detected in most cases of cervical cancer. Therefore, infection with this virus is believed to trigger the development of cervical cancer. This virus is mainly infected by sexual intercourse and people who are sexually active at a young age with multiple partners are at the most endanger of becoming infected with cervical cancer.
In fact, carcinogensis is also related to the consititution of the type of people who become infected by the virus.
Early cervical cancer is mostly asymptomatic, but can be found by cervical cytology performed by uterine cancer screening.
The most alarming symptom is bleeding from the genitals which may happen during daily activity but most often seen during sexual intercourse. Bleeding may continue to worsen further into the infection process. In advanced cancer, lower back pain, lower abdominal pain, lower limb pain and urination disorder, hematuria, bloody stools may appear.
There are two methods to prevent cervical cancer. The more important act is to have a medical examination in order to identify a patients current condition. Cervical cancer is slow in progress and can be prevented by screening every 2 years. The other is vaccination, but many side effects following the vaccination have been reported, and it is no longer actively recommended in Japan.