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Cervical Cancer

Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer continues to affect women of all ages worldwide. The disease often presents no symptoms in its early stages, which is why it is often referred to as a “silent killer.” Most cervical cancers are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), a common virus that can be passed from one person to another through sexual activity. With the advent of the HPV vaccine and regular Pap screening tests, most cervical cancers can now be prevented. In 2017, it is estimated that nearly 13,000 women will be diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer in the U.S. and more than 4,000 patients will lose their battle with the disease. Although the number of new cases has been declining over the past decades, thanks to Pap screening, cervical cancer is still the second most common type of cancer for women worldwide.

Diagnosis

In addition to a physical examination, the following tests may be used to diagnose cervical cancer: Screening     tests include:
  • Pap test
  • HPV DNA test
Diagnosis To obtain tissue, physicians may use
  • Punch biopsy, which involves using a sharp tool to pinch off small samples of cervical tissue
  • Endocervical curettage, which uses a small, spoon-shaped instrument (curet) or a thin brush to scrape a tissue sample from the cervix
If the punch biopsy or endocervical curettage is worrisome, physicians may perform one of the following tests:
  • Electrical wire loop, which uses a thin, low-voltage electrical wire to obtain a small tissue sample.
  • Cone biopsy, which is a procedure that allows physicians to obtain deeper layers of cervical cells for laboratory testing.
Staging If a physician determines that the patient has cervical cancer, further tests will determine the extent (stage) of the cancer. The cancer's stage is a key factor in deciding on treatment. Staging exams include:
  • Imaging tests. Tests such as X-rays, CT scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) help the physician determine whether the cancer has spread beyond your cervix.
  • Visual examination of the bladder and rectum. Physicians may use special scopes to see inside the bladder and rectum.

Treatment

Treatment for cervical cancer depends on several factors, such as the stage of the cancer, other health problems the person may have and the preferences. Surgery, radiation, chemotherapy or a combination of the three may be used. Surgery.    Simple hysterectomy. The cervix and uterus are removed along with the cancer. Simple hysterectomy is usually an option only in very early-stage cervical cancer.                      Radical hysterectomy. The cervix, uterus, part of the vagina and lymph nodes in the area are removed with the cancer. Radiation.  Radiation therapy uses high-powered energy beams, such as X-rays or protons, to kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy may be used alone or with chemotherapy before surgery to shrink a tumor or after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells Chemotherapy.  Chemotherapy uses medications, usually injected into a vein, to kill cancer cells. Low doses of chemotherapy are often combined with radiation therapy, since chemotherapy may enhance the effects of the radiation. Higher doses of chemotherapy are used to control advanced cervical cancer that may not be curable.

Diagnostics Companies

These companies are members of the Cancer consortium. See full profiles. Cermed Corporation: Commercializing breakthrough products for cervical cancer screening. Forth Photonics: Non-invasive, in-vivo detection of cancerous and pre-cancerous lesions. MediSpectra, Inc.: Diagnosis of precancerous cervical abnormalities. Medite, Inc: Develops screening systems to assist in the early detection of cancer. MTM Laboratories AG: Diagnostics for early detection of cervical cancer.

Bio and Pharma Therapeutics Companies

These companies are members of the Cancer consortium. See full profiles. ViciniVax:. It is a spin-off from the University Medical Center Groningen, the Netherlands, developing therapeutic cancer vaccines. GlaxoSmithKline: Largest efficacy trial of a cervical cancer vaccine showed Cervarix® protects against the five most common cancer-causing virus types. Alnylam Pharmaceuticals: Novel therapeutics based on RNA interference for cervical cancer. Bristol-Myers Squibb: Bristol-Myers produces and distributes innovative healthcare-related products and pharmaceuticals for serious and life-threatening disease including cervical cancer.

Device Companies

These companies are members of the Cancer consortium that work in the areas of devices and surgical techniques, radiation therapies. See full profiles. Onko Solutions: InstaPAP® is a portable medical device that provides non-invasive screening cervical cancer to detect pre-cancerous change. Biop Medical: Biop Medical’s, high-resolution optics with integrated micro and macro cameras for automatic identification of suspicious areas and quantification of cancer stage.

Organizations/Resources

The National Cervical Cancer Coalition (NCCC) was founded in 1996 as a grassroots nonprofit organization dedicated to serving women with, or at risk for, cervical cancer and HPV disease. http://www.nccc-online.org/ The Foundation for Women’s Cancer (FWC) supports research, education and public awareness of gynecologic cancers. http://www.foundationforwomenscancer.org/ Cervical Cancer Action: A Global Coalition to Stop Cervical Cancer is a community of organizations and individuals dedicated to working collaboratively to eliminate cervical cancer deaths worldwide. http://www.cervicalcanceraction.org/home/home.php Cervical Cancer Prevention Initiative (CCPI) brings together diverse groups interested in cervical cancer prevention. http://cervicalcanceraction.org/initiative/index.php Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon, is a global partnership of national governments, (NGO) and corporations with a shared goal of reducing deaths from cervical cancer and breast cancer in low- and middle-income countries. http://pinkribbonredribbon.org/

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