Cancer Of The Cervix

November 7, 2023
Unigetty Mushonga

Cancer of the cervix is the second commonest cancer among women here in the Bahamas after breast cancer. It is commonly found in women below 50 years. The uterine cervix is the lowest portion of a woman's uterus (womb), connecting the uterus with the vagina.

Causes for Cancer of the Cervix

As with all cancers there is not one single cause, instead there are risk or predisposing factors. These are factors that increase your likelihood of getting the cancer. The predisposing factors for cancer of the cervix include

  • Human Papilloma (HPV) Virus Infection,
  • HIV Infection,
  • Chlamydia Infection,
  • Being younger than 17 at the time of first full-term pregnancy
  • Having multiple sexual partners
  • Lifestyle choices including diet and smoking

Signs and symptoms of cervical cancer?

In its early stages, cervical cancer is asymptomatic

When symptoms do occur, they may include:

  • Pelvic or lower belly pain
    • Unusual vaginal discharge
    • Pain or bleeding during intercourse
    • Bleeding
    • Bleeding between periods

There are different modalities for treating cancer of the cervix namely surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. The modalities are used either singly or in combination depending on the type and stage of the cancer. There are four stages of cancer, stage 1 to stage 4.

 Cervical cancer is one of those cancers that can be prevented, early diagnosis is the key. Regular screenings are recommended. Ladies from age 30+ are encouraged to go for pap smears. As a Radiation Therapist, I am seeing more   and more women coming in for treatment of this cancer. Once you present early, treatment outcomes are good. Cancer of the cervix can be cured. I have seen a number of women who came in a lot of pain, agony, bleeding, losing hope and skeptical about radiation treatment go out stronger, healed and smiling. I have had the privilege of meeting some of them later outside of the Radiation centre and they are as vibrant as ever. The diagnosis of cervical cancer need not be like a life sentence. There are many myths out there about cancer and radiation. In my work experience I have also found out that your attitude and outlook on life has a bearing on the response to treatment, A merry heart doeth good like medicine.

The Cancer Centre Bahamas at the Medical Pavilion Bahamas remains the only American College of Radiation Oncology (ACRO) accredited cancer center outside of North America that provides for all of your cancer needs Screening Diagnostic, Medical, Surgical, Paediatric and Radiation Oncology Treatment all under one roof.

Unigetty Mushonga
Radiation Therapist The Cancer Centre Bahamas

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