Cervical cancer kills nearly 4,000 American women annually, and about 11,000 new cases will be diagnosed in 2008. Treatments up to this time have included chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation. Now a new means of delivering radiation called “Gynocyte” is in the final stages of launch. Gynocyte improves on the old method of radiation treatment, in which a clumsy and painful metal device was inserted in the vagina for a three-day period. According to Aaron Wolfson, M.D., from the University of Miami, the old device could fall out and was not capable of delivering a high dose of radiation. … Gynocyte [is] a simple plastic cylinder about seven to ten inches long that conducts radiation pellets to the cancer site and holds them in place for two to three days. According to Wolfson, “It allows us to give a very intense amount of radiation to the tumor with little damage to the nearby and normal tissues. You can give enough dose to cure the cancer without harming the patient.” Wolfson says it’s safer than the old device and can often be used without pain medication. Also, while the old device was only 60 to 70 percent effective, clinical trials show that Gynocyte has a success rate approaching 90 percent. – newsmax
Some basic information about this disease:
Cervical cancer accounts for 2.5% of all cancers diagnosed in American women today. The cervix is the narrow neck of a woman’s uterus, found just above the vagina. Nine out of ten cervical cancers initiate in the surface cells that line the cervix. In some women, the healthy cells enter a phase called dysplasia. These cells are not always cancerous but they can easily become so. Dysplasia is most likely to occur in women ages 25-35. Women who began having sexual intercourse before the age of 18, have had multiple partners, have had several pregnancies or have a history of sexually transmitted disease are more likely to develop dysplasia or cervical cancer.
When dysplastic cells become malignant, carcinoma in situ results. Carconoma in situ normally afflicts women between the ages of 30-40. It usually takes many years for dysplasia to become carcinoma in situ. Each year 55,000 new cases of carcinoma in situ are diagnosed.
When cancer cells multiply and spread to surrounding tissues, the bloodstream or lymphatic system can become infected. It takes months and even years for cervical cancer to become invasive cancer. Invasive cancer appears mostly in women between the ages of 40-60. Cases of invasive cancer have risen to 15,000 new diagnoses a year.
Because the progression of cervical cancer takes so long and with the advent of the Pap Smear, it is the easiest cancer to diagnose and cure. When caught early and even in its advanced stages, the cure rate and liklyhood of surviving at least five years is as high as 60%. Even when the cancer has spread to nearby organs the survival rate stays high.
Four out of every five cervical cancers are linked to sexually transmitted disease. Many women who have sexually transmitted diseases do not go on to develop cervical cancer, but not every woman with cervical cancer has a history of infection. Genetic factors also play a part in the determination of cervical cancer. Cervical cancer also seems more prevalent in women who smoke. Currently there is no scientific evidence that smoking causes cervical cancer. But researchers believe that smoking makes your immune system more susceptible to viral infections and other such illnesses. – essortment
Virtually all deaths from cervical cancer are preventable, yet the disease will kill almost 4,000 women in this country this year. … “Cervical cancer shouldn’t be a cause of death anymore, in fact it shouldn’t be a problem anymore,” said Dr. Stephen J. McPhee of the University of California-San Francisco. – mindful
A growing list of things that should help.