How Fast Does Cervical Cancer Spread?

Updated at: Jul 05, 2012
How Fast Does Cervical Cancer Spread?

Progression of cervical cancer is slow as compared with other cancer forms. Stage of cervical cancer identifies the extent of its spread.

Himanshu Sharma
MiscellaneousWritten by: Himanshu SharmaPublished at: Jul 05, 2012

Cervical cancer spread is identified by identifying its stage. A pelvic examination determines how quick cervical cancer has spread by classifying it in a stage. Staging of cervical cancer is done to make sure that the condition is treated most appropriately. There are four stages of cervical cancer ranging from 1 to 4.

The cancer of the cervix, which is the lowest part of the uterus in a woman connecting the uterus with vagina advances very slowly when compared with other cancer forms. Its slow progression is also an opportunity of medical intervention to prevent its spread and treatment before it becomes fatal.

Cervical Cancer Stages

Classification of cervical cancer into a stage is an indicator of its spread. The treatment is decided as per the stage of the cancer. There are four stages of cervical cancer, each being segregated into A and B.

  • Stage 1: Cancer cells are contained within the cervix surface.
  • Stage 2: Cancer cells break outside the cervix and affect surrounding tissues.
  • Stage 3: Cancer cells spread further to the lower part of the vagina, adjoining muscles and ligaments with the pelvis. Cervical cancer may grow up to block the functions of kidneys.
  • Stage 4: Referred to as advanced cervical cancer stage, cancer cells reach out to affect body organs and their functions.

Cervical Cancer Spread

It takes a long span of time to convert initial symptoms of infection to manifest cervix and become a disease. Its slow progress makes it easily treatable. It starts as an epithelial lesion in the cervix and takes a shape of a tumour after probably a year or more. There have been cases in which the initial symptoms of cancer were identified in the 20s and 30s, but cancer was only diagnosed during the 40s and 50s.

Prevention of Cervical Cancer

Identifying cervical cancer symptoms is not easy before it reaches an advanced stage. Woman experience no pain during the early stages of cancer. Among indicators of cervical cancer include vaginal abnormalities such as vaginal bleeding after menstrual period or vaginal bleeding after menopause, abnormal vaginal discharge and discomfort during vaginal bleeding.

A pelvic examination and Pap smear are medical processes to help prevent cervical cancer from advancing any further. Pap smear can be taken by a woman when she becomes sexually active. Sexual abstinence is advised as a preventive measure to keep cervical cancer at bay. Practicing safe sex and immunisations are other options to prevent advancement of cervical cancer.


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