Cancer is a scary word. But when you know all the facts, knowledge and understanding can reduce the fear. Find out everything you need to know about cancer and its effects...

Pelvic Cancer

There is actually no type of cancer that is specifically pelvic cancer. Instead, the term relates to a variety of cancers in the pelvic area, with the most common being cervical cancer.

Other types of pelvic cancer include prostrate, bladder, ovarian and uterine cancer. Prostrate is actually the most common type that is diagnosed at the moment. However, the term pelvic cancer is usually referring to the cervical area and that is the reason that this has been focused on.

This type of cancer only affects women, with the cervix being located in the pelvic area and being part of the female reproductive system. The organ connects the uterus to the vagina and is a vital component of the body during the menstrual cycle, sexual intercourse and pregnancy.

The signs and symptoms of cervical cancer

Unfortunately, most women do not experience any sort of symptoms during the early stages of cervical cancer. However, once the condition progresses, a variety of signs can be noticed and these mainly include bleeding from the vagina. Women could suffer blood loss outside of their menstrual cycle, during sexual intercourse and bleeding even after the menopause has occurred. Other potential symptoms can be general pain around the pelvic area that is sometimes worsened during intercourse, while some women suffer vaginal discharge.

The unfortunate issue about these symptoms is that most can occur through many other conditions. General infections or STDs can cause such problems although it goes without saying that if a woman is suffering from any of the above issues, they should see a doctor immediately.

The issues that can cause cervical cancer

The exact causes of cervical cancer are unknown. However, doctors have at least compiled risk factors that seem to increase the chances of contracting the condition.

The main factor is thought to be HPV, or human papillomavirus in medical terminology. This is an infection that is contracted through sexual intercourse, with both men and women being able to suffer from it. If the infection is not treated there is a large risk of cervical cancer developing, as HPV causes severe damage to cervical cells and this can cause the early stages of the cancer.

There are several other factors that are thought to be a cause but experts are still not completely convinced that there is a correlation. These factors include:

  • Smoking
  • Irregular Pap tests
  • The prolonged used of birth control pills

The treatment available to sufferers of cervical cancer

Like many types of cancer, there is at least a variety of treatment options available. The first one to be discussed is surgery and depending on the severity of the cancer, this can involve different methods. If the cancer is caught at an early stage, the doctor may decide to just remove the cervix which would allow the woman to fall pregnant again in the future. However, in more severe cases the cervix, uterus and even parts of the vagina are removed and obviously this will have serious repercussions for the future.

If surgery is avoided, the other options are chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Both do not require the removal of organs and for this reason, many women prefer them if they are suitable.