What is Cervical Cancer?
Cervical cancer forms in the cells of the cervix, which is the lower part of the uterus (womb). The cervix connects the body of the uterus to the vagina (birth canal).
Every year, 2,145 Malaysian women are diagnosed with cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is common among women in Malaysia and the second most common cancer in women between 15 and 44 years of age.
- About 1,682 new cervical cancer cases are diagnosed annually in Malaysia (estimates for 2018).
- Cervical cancer ranks as the third leading cause of female cancer in Malaysia.
- Cervical cancer is the second most common female cancer in women aged 15 to 44 years in Malaysia.
Types of Cervical Cancer
Squamous Cell Carcinomas
Squamous cell carcinomas begin in the thin, flat cells that line the bottom of the cervix, or the exocervix. Known as the most common type of cervical cancer, it accounts for 80 to 90 percent of cervical cancers.
Adenocarcinomas develop in the mucus-producing glandular cells that line the upper portion of the cervix, or the endocervix. This type of cancer makes up 10 to 20 percent of cervical cancers and seems to have become more common in the past 20 to 30 years.
Every cancer diagnosed comes in stages. Staging is a way of describing size and extent of the cancer in the body. The treatment plan may vary for each cancer stage, hence we will help choose the best treatment for you.
There are 4 stages of Cervical Cancer:
|Stage 1||Stage 2|
|Stage 3||Stage 4|
- Unusual vaginal bleeding
- Abnormal vaginal discharge: may contain blood that occurs in between periods or menopause
- Pelvic pain
- Experiencing pain during sexual intercourse
Unavoidable risk factors
- Family history
Cervical Cancer Myths vs. Facts
|Cervical cancer cannot be prevented||Cervical cancer can be prevented, and it happens to be one of the most preventable cancers. A Pap test procedure could detect abnormal changes in the cells of your cervix, and if found, they can be monitored and treated so that the cancer never develops|
|I have had a hysterectomy so I don’t need Pap tests.||If you had a hysterectomy and you still have your cervix, it is important to continue having regular Pap tests.|
|I have no symptoms therefore I do not need to get a Pap test.||Cervical cancer can be detected without realising that there are any symptoms.|