Carcinoma of cervix is the most frequent of all the genital tract cancers, and after the breast, the second most common site of malignancy in female body. India has the highest number of cervical cancer in the world according to the international agency of research on cancer (IARC), a part of the world health organisation (WHO), Approximately, cancer cervix accounts 80%, ovary 10% and uterine body 4-5% of genital cancers in India. Every year, around 74,000 patients die in the country out of 1,32,000 women diagnosed with this deadly disease. Across the world, around 2,80,000 women die of this disease every year and 27% of these deaths occur in India only.
The cervix is the lower part of the uterus(womb). It is sometimes called the uterine cervix, the body of the uterus is where the baby grows, the cervix connects the body of the uterus to the vegina (birth canal). The part of the cervix closest to the body of the uterus is called the endocervix.
The part next to vagina is the ectocervix or exocervix. The 2 main types of the cells covering the cervix are squamous cells (on the ectocervix) and glandular cells (on the endocervix) the place where the two cell types meet is called the transformation zone. Most cervical cancer starts in the transformation zone. These cells do not suddenly change into cancer. Instead, the normal cells of the cervix first gradually develop precancerous changes that turn into cancer.
Cervical intra epithelial neoplasia (pre cancerous changes)
Squamous cell carcinoma 80% - 90%
Adenocarcinoma – 20%
It is recommended that woman undergo periodic cancer screening based on following criteria, Sexually active woman above 18 years. Sexual life more than 10 years.
More than 3 pregnancies and labour.