First, some good news: Thanks to the widespread use of the Pap smear, the incidence and mortality rate from cervical cancer has significantly decreased in the U.S. over the past 60 years.
Nevertheless, approximately 11,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer annually across the country, and the disease still claims approximately 3,800 lives each year. Although the Pap test is one of the most reliable cervical cancer screening methods to detect abnormal cells in the cervix, it is not 100 percent accurate. And the sooner a tumor is detected, the more likely it is to be effectively treated.
That’s why knowing the signs and symptoms of cervical cancer, as well as having regular checkups, is important.
Signs of Cervical Cancer
Although symptoms are not typically noticeable in the preliminary stages of cervical cancer, there are early warning signs you need to look out for between routine Pap screenings. These include:
- Vaginal bleeding between periods
- Bleeding following sexual intercourse
- Post-menopausal bleeding
- Unusual vaginal discharge that is pink, watery, or foul-smelling
- Pelvic pain between periods
If you have any of these symptoms, discuss them promptly with your OB-GYN doctor.
Advanced Cervical Cancer Symptoms
If cervical cancer has metastasized (spread) from the pelvis to the lymph nodes, or if it has formed tumors elsewhere in the body, you may experience symptoms that include:
- Weight loss
- Back and/or leg pain and swelling
- Urine or feces leakage from the vagina
- Greater risk of bone fractures
However, even at this stage of the disease, there are treatment options that can slow the progress of cervical cancer, relieve its symptoms, and prolong your life. One of the most effective treatments is radiosurgery (radiation therapy), in which ionizing radiation is used to destroy cancer cells in affected tissue.
The problem with traditional radiation therapy is that it can damage healthy tissues and organs surrounding the cancerous tumor. It is also a long, physically exhausting process with invasive side effects that may include fatigue, skin problems, symptoms of menopause, changes in menstruation, incontinence, diarrhea, rectal bleeding, or infertility.
Alternative Radiation Therapy Cancer Treatment
Fortunately, there is a better alternative. It’s called CyberKnife®, which is a safe, painless, noninvasive form of radiosurgery that is just as effective as traditional radiation, yet without the discomfort – and few, if any, of the side effects – typically experienced after receiving regular radiation therapy. Best of all, CyberKnife leaves surrounding tissues and organs unharmed. Here’s why:
CyberKnife technology uses an advanced, robotic arm to deliver precise, high-dose radiation to the cancerous tumor. The treatment is so accurate that it automatically adjusts to the slightest bodily movements while keeping its beam focused exclusively on the tumor, destroying the cancer cells without affecting any other part of the body.
CyberKnife is so powerful that it only requires up to five sessions of 30- to 90-minute treatments. They can all be done within just one week, compared to the many sessions over the course of weeks or months as required with traditional radiation therapy.
Also, there is no downtime or recovery with CyberKnife. Once you complete your treatment, you’re free to go back to your normal activities.
Cervical Cancer Radiation Treatment in Miami
Clinically proven CyberKnife radiation technology has helped cancer patients throughout the world achieve effective cancer treatment results for more than 30 years. To learn more about this amazing option and whether you are a suitable candidate, contact the CyberKnife Center of Miami today at (800) 204-0455 or (305) 279-2900, or use our online contact form now. And you can also explore and learn more on our website www.cyberknifemiami.com
We’re here to help you beat that cancer and get back to living life to the fullest again!