If your Pap smear indicates cell changes on your cervix, it doesn't automatically mean you have cervical cancer. However, if there's any risk of cancer, the experienced team at the Houston Cancer Institute, PA, can help. At their three locations in Houston and another in Katy, Texas, the institute has cutting-edge diagnostic facilities and provides superior treatments for cervical cancer. For more information or to schedule a consultation, call the nearest office or book an appointment online today.
Cervical cancer is a disease of the cervix – the entrance to your uterus at the top of your vagina. Cervical cancer develops when cervical cells mutate and start to grow out of control.
The abnormal cell growth that occurs with cervical cancer is most often due to human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. HPV is a common type of sexually transmitted disease (STD).
At first, cervical cancer causes few if any symptoms. As the disease progresses, you might experience:
The team at the Houston Cancer Institute, PA, has state-of-the-art onsite diagnostic facilities to determine if you have cervical cancer. At your consultation, your provider might use a special magnifying instrument to look at your cervix and take a biopsy (tissue sample) for lab analysis. They can also perform PET/CT scans and other imaging tests.
Successful treatment of cervical cancer depends on how advanced your condition has become. Surgery to remove cancerous cervical cells may be possible in the early stages, or you might need to have your cervix removed. In some cases, a hysterectomy is necessary to take out your cervix and uterus.
The Houston Cancer Institute, PA, team delivers chemotherapy treatments post-surgery to ensure the destruction of any remaining cancer cells. They might also recommend an advanced radiation treatment such as intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) or stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT).
As cervical cancer is usually a result of HPV infection, it's possible to prevent the disease through vaccination. Current CDC guidelines recommend that all children aged between nine and 15 should receive a two-dose HPV vaccination.
The vaccine is most effective at the age of 11-12, but older children and adults can still benefit by having a three-dose vaccination. If you're under 45 and haven't been immunized against HPV, talk to your doctor about the advantages of vaccination.
It's also important for women to undergo regular Pap smears, where your provider takes a sample of cervical cells for analysis. Pap smears detect any changes in the cervical cells that might make them cancerous, ensuring you receive treatment at the earliest possible stage.
To determine the best treatment for your cancer, the team at the Houston Cancer Institute, PA, stages your cancer using state-of-the-art Cat Scan or PET/CT imaging.
The scans show how large the tumor is, how deeply it extends, and whether it's spread to other areas. This will help our team at the Houston Cancer Institute, PA identify what stage of cancer you have and tailor your treatment plan to that stage for optimal outcomes and recovery.
For more information about the prevention and screening of cervical cancer or to discuss your symptoms, call the nearest office or book an appointment online today.