Detected in early stages, 90 percent of cases are cured: Lucely Cetina, from the FM
Laura Lucia Romero Mireles
Ago 7, 2022
ECervical cancer is a topic of interest for women and for the population as a whole, so it is important to insist on primary prevention, through vaccination, and secondary, through its timely detection, affirms the academic of the Faculty of Medicine (FM), Lucely Cetina Pérez.
It is the second most common type of cancer in women of reproductive age in our country – only after breast cancer – with approximately 10,000 new cases per year, and causes between 5,000 and 5,500 deaths each year, adds the researcher. at the National Cancer Institute.
This condition, which is the fourth cause of death worldwide and more frequent in countries with limited resources like ours and the rest of the Latin American nations, for example, still registers high figures “when there shouldn’t be any.” The goal is to eradicate it, “but we still have a long way to go.”
On the occasion of the National Day for the Fight against Cervical Cancer -which is commemorated tomorrow, August 9-, Cetina Pérez explains that this cancer consists of the proliferation of malignant cells in the cervix, a process that can involve months or years, even become invader. There are different types, but the most common, in 85 to 90 percent of cases, is called squamous cell cancer.
The scientist recalls that 99 percent of cases are linked to sexually transmitted infection of the human papillomavirus (HPV); but there are other risk factors for suffering from it, such as smoking and genital infections, including chlamydia or gonorrhea.
Lucely Cetina points out that depending on the patient’s immunological and nutritional status, the virus persists or may progress. Approximately 30 percent of infected women have been found to develop invasive cervical cancer.
At first, the university student warns, it is asymptomatic and can go unnoticed. Unfortunately, the signs and symptoms appear when the disease is in advanced stages; the main symptoms and signs are: transvaginal hemorrhage after intercourse, persistent transvaginal hemorrhage, pelvic pain, among others. When the person is practically terminal, there is edema (swelling) of the lower extremities or problems urinating.
Detected in early stages, the expert clarifies, 90 percent of cases are cured; when there are signs and symptoms, the disease is in a clinical stage known as IB2 (that is, when the tumor is confined to the cervix and measures more than four centimeters in diameter); In this and other more advanced stages, the chances of cure can range from 50 to 80 percent, and in stages where the disease spreads and reaches other organs, survival decreases to less than 30 percent “even with the best treatments ”.
The procedure in early stages is surgical; in locally advanced, when the tumors measure 4 centimeters and up to 10 centimeters, that is, stages IB2 to IVa, treatment consists mainly of radio and concomitant chemotherapy, followed by brachytherapy (a type of radiotherapy with a source of radiation in the body, within or near the tumor); when there are metastases, that is, in advanced stages, chemotherapies and immunotherapy are used, he notes.
The main aspects to prevent the disease are vaccination, timely detection of cancer, especially through the Pap test, as well as the dissemination of information, which is so necessary for the general population, says the expert.
In Mexico it has been reported that there are girls who begin their sexual life at 12 years of age; however, according to the Official Mexican Standard, the application of the Papanicolau must be carried out from the age of 25, he abounds.
Women should see a doctor and get tested at least once a year. In the case of minors, three or four years after the beginning of sexual life and have close medical surveillance; care has to be individualized.