A cancer diagnosis may be a terrifying experience for anyone. In addition, women worry a lot about gynecological cancers. Up to 78 organs can be found in the female body, and a total of ten of these can be discovered in the reproductive system of females. It can be challenging for non-medical persons to distinguish between the many parts, and ovarian and cancer of the cervix are two examples of this.
Even though they are frequently used interchangeably, they are two different conditions. Most cancers of the reproductive tract, including cervical and ovarian, originate in the uterus. Though they all share some of the same characteristics (such as symptoms and screening), their outcomes have significant variances.
So are cervical cancer and ovarian cancer related?
Reading this article, you may learn more about the differences and commonalities between cervical and ovarian cancers.
Cervical cancer vs. ovarian cancer: Essentials to Learn?
Cervical and ovarian cancer are two of the most often diagnosed diseases. Symptoms of ovarian cancer include persistent bloating, while irregular vaginal bleeding could indicate cervix cancer. The prognosis is far more favorable when these malignancies are discovered early on.
For anyone interested in learning more about these types of cancer, we’ve provided detailed descriptions below.
This cancer type develops in the cells of the cervix, which is the organ that connects the uterus to the vagina. Fortunately, this type of cancer is treatable. Detection of cervical cancer at an early stage is frequently curable. But women over 30 are most likely to get cervical cancer. Most of the time, surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or a combination of these treatments are used to treat it. A hysterectomy comprises removing the uterus and cervix, often totally removed.
Radiation therapy involves treating the uterus, cervix, and adjacent tissues. Radiation therapy after surgery is sometimes essential to guarantee that all cancer has been removed and reduce the risk of the disease returning. Because chemotherapy medications make cancer cells more sensitive to radiation, more advanced cancer of the cervix may necessitate a combo of radiation therapy and chemotherapy. The doctors specializing in cancer work closely with each patient to properly assess and discuss the best ways to treat them.
It is in the cervix, which connects the uterus with the vagina, where ovarian cancer develops. Cancer can also begin in the thin tissue that lines the organs and inner abdominal wall, known as the peritoneum. Patients’ response to this varies and is determined by various variables such as kind of cancer, stage, grade, and overall health.
Surgery is usually required to treat cancer, although the progression and type determine the extent and surgical intervention. Patients often require additional treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy to ensure that the cancer is eradicated and will not return. For this reason, you’ll need to look for a facility committed to offering the most outstanding possible care to all of its patients.
Differences And Similarities
Given that the cervix and ovaries are connected, there may overlap between ovarian and cervical cancer. Both tumors, for example, can cause abnormal vaginal bleeding and discharge, as well as other symptoms.
Nevertheless, the CDC identifies numerous ovarian cancer symptoms that are uncommon in cancer of the cervix:
Feeling satiated quickly or having trouble eating,
pressure on the pelvic,
Frequent or urgent urination,
A bloated stomach or back pain
Causes and screening are two additional areas where the two diverge.
There is currently no known cause for ovarian cancer, but HPV infections are a significant cause of cervical cancer. As a result, testing for the HPV virus is an effective way to identify women who may be at risk for developing cervical cancer. Cervical cancer screening with Pap tests is another option.
But there aren’t any reliable screening procedures for ovarian cancer treatment experts. Those with ovarian cancer symptoms are more likely to undertake diagnostic procedures, such as transvaginal ultrasounds or CA-125 blood tests than those who do not have symptoms.
Variations in the Survival Rate
There are no significant differences in survival rates for localized types of these malignancies. According to the American Cancer Society, 93%–98% of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer and 82% of women diagnosed with cancer of the cervix will live at least five years after their diagnosis. But they think that only 17 percent of people with distant cervical cancer live for at least five years, compared to 31–60 percent of people with distanced ovarian cancer.
Typical Symptoms And Signs of Ovarian Cancer
Following the American Cancer Society, the most common signs and symptoms of cervical cancer are:
unusual vaginal bleeding, such as sex-related or menopausal hemorrhage
Blood stained urine
Pain in the pelvis area
Difficulty passing stool or urinating
Pap smears and HPV tests are commonly used to detect cervical cancer. The Pap test detects precancerous cells, and the HPV test detects HPV in women. Patients with a positive screening outcome or signs of cervix cancer will almost certainly make an appointment with their gynecologist to acquire a definitive diagnosis.
A medical history check and a pelvic exam will be required for the diagnosis. Colposcopies and biopsies may also be carried out as part of the diagnostic process. Additional tests, such as MRI scans or cystoscopies, may be ordered if the results of the screenings point to the presence of cervical cancer.
Prospects For Cervical Cancer Patients
If cancer has spread and other health issues present, the prognosis for cervical cancer may be poor. The American Cancer Society says that 66 percent of people with cervical cancer will be alive after five years. The average lifespan of a person with cervix cancer is at least five years. However, after cancer spreads to other bodily areas, just 17% of patients survive.
Typical Symptoms and Signs of Cervical Cancer
Among ovarian cancer signs and symptoms are the following:
Abdominal or pelvic swelling and pain
Bloating and exhaustion
Challenges with food or feeling full
Difficulty using the washroom
Doctors should be called for a checkup if someone notices the signs and symptoms. Also, checking one’s family or medical history is integral to the process. A doctor would most likely conduct a pelvic exam to determine if there is any liquid in the stomach or if the ovaries are swollen.
Additional tests may be recommended by a doctor if there are indicators of malignancy, such as:
Imaging, including MRIs and ultrasounds
Blood testing, including CA-125 tests
Tissue samples used for genetic testing
Laproscopy or colonoscopy
Prospects For Ovarian Cancer Patients
The prognosis for ovarian cancer is influenced by several variables, such as early discovery, tumor spread, and the patient’s general condition. Also, it depends on the type of cancer in the ovary. The National Cancer Institute reports that 49% of patients live for at least five years after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
Most patients with localized or regional ovarian cancer live at least five years. Oncologists use this term to describe an area where cancer has not progressed or has spread locally. Only 31% of those diagnosed with distant ovarian cancer will make it five years. At this point, the disease develops in other sections of the body.
Primary Causes of Ovarian Cancer?
According to current knowledge, experts have produced numerous theories on the possible risk factors for the disease of the ovaries. Cancer is caused by genetic mutations that are either inherited or acquired.
Ovarian cancer has been linked to the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, among others. An increased risk of ovarian cancer is reducible by using birth control and pregnancy. This shows that ovulation may play a role in the development of ovarian cancer, according to some studies. Cancer-causing compounds may enter the body through the uterus or fallopian tubes, according to a second idea.
Primary Causes of Cervical Cancer?
A genetic mutation is responsible for all forms of cancer because it causes the body’s cells to proliferate and reproduce out of control. However, cancer of the cervix is almost always caused by HPV (human papillomavirus), which alters the cervix’s cell DNA.
To address these risk factors, the NHS launched an HPV vaccination program for females between 12 and 13 in 2008. HPV vaccination will be available to girls and boys 12 and 13 years old starting in September 2019. It protects against four HPV strains, including two that cause more than seven out of ten cervical cancer cases. Cancer of the cervix screening is still necessary because the HPV vaccine doesn’t protect against all types of the disease, some of which may not show signs for years or even decades.
When invited for cervical screening, you should always go. It’s also worth noting that HPV is a virus that is extremely frequent in people who come into contact with one another’s skin. Despite common belief, having HPV is not a sign that you’ve had a lot of sexual partners and isn’t something to be uncomfortable about. Around 85 percent of women will be infected with HPV at a certain point in their lifetime; it usually causes no difficulties and gets eliminated by your system within two years.
The Role of Men’s Hygiene
Cervical cancer and bad hygiene: Is there a connection? Yes, without a doubt. As a result, sexual intercourse or the infected person’s skin and mucous membranes are the most common means of transmission. Therefore, you are undoubtedly at more considerable risk if you have had sex without protection or with several partners.
This is why men are part of the risk factors.
Male circumcision status has been proven to decrease both genital HPV transmission and cancer of the cervix risk in female partners, according to recent studies.
As a final precaution, insist that your partners use a condom when having sex with you. Even a condom may not be enough to protect you from cervical cancer; let’s face it. HPV infection can still be transmitted to a woman if warts and lesions are present in the area contaminated by the virus and the condom does not cover it. Keep the infection from spreading by wiping the vagina clean from the rear to the front after each sex.
Have You been Screened For Any Cancer?
Regular tests for cervical and ovarian cancers are the strongest defense against these diseases.
Cervical Cancer Screening
Early detection and treatment of cancer of the cervix are now possible because of routine cervical screening. Cervical cell alterations and associated viruses are detected and identified by doctors using two primary tests.
Regular screening for cervical cancer reduces the chance of getting or dying from the disease by 80%, per the National Cancer Institute. Cervical cancer fatalities are decreasing by about 2% per year in the United States, thanks to advancements in screening and treatment.
Types of Preliminary Screening
To gain access to the cervix, a medical expert uses a speculum to expand the vagina. They then take a cervical cell sample from the patient. The cell sample will be delivered to a lab for microscopic analysis. When the technicians examine the cells, they look at how they look. Precancers, the early stage of cancer of the cervix development, may be indicated if they are aberrant. Cervical cancer can be prevented if these cellular alterations are treated early enough.
Many unusual cellular changes that may eventually result in cervical cancer can show up with the HPV test, which your doctor will administer. Possibly, HPV tests can identify infections that specialists haven’t yet connected with cancer development. In most cases, a positive HPV test does not guarantee that a person will acquire cancer. HPV Screening
Ovarian Cancer Screening
Typically, if an ovarian cancer diagnosis is suspected as a result of routine screening or symptoms, a clinician takes into consideration:
The person’s medical history,
Both personal and familial,
Should be brought up
In addition, they may recommend:
Blood tests: CA-125 is a measurable marker that will show up in these assays.
Imaging tests: Some examples include transvaginal ultrasounds, MRIs, and CT scans.
Laparoscopy: Through a small abdominal incision, a medical expert will introduce a thin tube equipped with a camera to view the ovaries and maybe remove a tissue sample for biopsy.
Biopsy: These samples are examined under the microscope. It is only by a biopsy that one can tell whether a patient has cancer. A medical practitioner could do this as part of the initial evaluation or after tumor removal surgery.
When to See a Physician
You should immediately report cervical and ovarian cancer signs and symptoms in your female reproduction system to a physician. After that, treatment outcomes are highly dependent on the early identification of cancer. Cervical cancer screening should begin at 21, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The cancer of the female reproductive system, cervical and ovarian, have many similarities. Obesity and bloating are two risk factors that are exclusive to women who are suffering from ovarian cancer. Many occurrences of cervical cancer are traceable back to HPV infections; however, the exact causes of ovarian cancers are unknown now.
Cervical cancer can be detected by screening for HPV or taking a Pap test. People with no signs of ovarian cancer cannot be reliably screened for the disease. Localized malignancies have an excellent prognosis. However, cervical cancers have a lower survival rate than ovarian cancers once it has progressed to other body regions.