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Cancer V/S Cervical Cancer Cancer V/S Cervical Cancer

Cancer V/S Cervical Cancer

Surya Hospital

January 03, 2024 |
9 Min Read | 402

Cancer ranks second in the list of the most common causes of morbidity/mortality across the globe. In 2023 alone, around 20 million cases of cancer were diagnosed globally. While it can affect anyone irrespective of age or gender, there are certain cancers, which specifically affect women. These are referred to as gynecological cancers and they encompass all the malignancies involving the female reproductive tract. Two of the most common of these are endometrial cancer and cervical cancer. In this blog, we have elaborated on these two types, with the help of the leading cancer treatment specialists in Mumbai. Continue reading to know more. 

Endometrial cancer 

It happens to be one of the most commonly diagnosed gynecological cancers, that originates from the cells lining the endometrium, a term used for the inner lining of the uterus, which comprises tissues that women shed during their periods. 
In the case of pregnancy, the endometrium becomes thick to support the implantation and growth of the fertilized egg. The endometrium is predominantly composed of mucosal tissues. Abnormal mutations within the DNA of the cells that make up the endometrium are what cause endometrial cancer. There are a variety of factors that may be responsible for this.  
Endometriosis is one of the two major types of cancers that originate within the uterus. The other one is uterine sarcoma. 

What the numbers say

Endometrial cancer is the 6th most common cancer affecting women, accounting for around 90 per cent of all the cancers that develop within the uterus. The malignancy is quite common in women above 60 years of age and rarely seen in women below 45 years of age.

Common risk factors

Various factors that are known to increase a woman's chances of developing endometrial cancer are:

  • Hormonal imbalance linked to obesity or being overweight
  • Hormonal disruption due to menopause are use of certain medications including birth control pills
  • Having early onset of periods or delayed menopause
  • Planning pregnancy late or never having kids
  • Having a family history of endometrial or colorectal cancer
  • Having a personal history of breast cancer or ovarian cancer
  • Consuming foods that are fatty and rich in calories 
  • Resorting to an inactive lifestyle
  • Having endometrial hyperplasia

Signs to watch out for

Various signs and symptoms that have been associated with endometrial cancer, include:

  • Unusual and persistent pelvic pain
  • Bleeding in between periods 
  • Bleeding after menopause
  • Experiencing pain during urination 

Cervical cancer 

It is a very common gynecological cancer, that originates from the cells that line the cervix, i.e. the tiny passage that connects the uterus to the vulva. At the time of childbirth, it dilates and expands allowing the baby to come out. Abnormal mutations in the DNA of the cervical cells cause them to grow and multiply uncontrollably. These are often linked to HPV infection.

What the numbers say

Cervical cancer is the 4th most common cancer seen in women, frequently diagnosed in women in the age group of 35 and 44 years. The cancer is rarely seen in women who are below 20 years of age. 

Common risk factors

Nearly 99% of cases of cervical cancer are linked to HPV (human papillomavirus), a sexually transmitted infection, which is easily preventable with vaccination. HPV 16 and HPV 18 are two high-risk types, which together contribute to around 70 per cent of all cases. 
Other risk factors that can be responsible for causing cervical cancer include:

  • Weakened immune system
  • Genital herpes
  • Excessive smoking
  • Use of birth control pills
  • Overexposure to diethylstilbestrol

Signs to watch out for 

Common signs and symptoms that can be an indication of cervical cancer include:

  • Abnormal vaginal bleed after sex
  • Bleeding after menopause
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Strong-smelling vaginal discharge
  • Pelvic discomfort during or after sex

Both, cervical and endometrial cancer affect different parts of the female reproductive tract, however, these can give rise to somewhat similar symptoms. The distinction can be predominantly made on the basis of proper evaluation and examination. It is advisable to consult a specialist if you are experiencing any of the symptoms.  

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