How is cancer of the cervix diagnosed?

The pelvic exam and Pap test allow the doctor to detect abnormal changes in the cervix. If these exams show that an infection is present, the doctor treats the infection and then repeats the Pap test at a later time. If the Pap test or exam suggests something other than an infection, the doctor may repeat the Pap test and do other tests to find out what the problem is. The Pap smear is only a screening test and does not give a final diagnosis. A diagnosis and subsequent treatment is based on biopsy results,...

What are the symptoms of cancer of the cervix?

Precancerous changes of the cervix usually do not cause pain. In fact, they generally do not cause any symptoms and are not detected unless a woman has a pelvic exam and a Pap test. Symptoms usually do not appear until abnormal cervical cells become cancerous and invade nearby tissue. Symptoms may include: Abnormal bleeding (bleeding may start and stop between regular menstrual periods) Bleeding after intercourse, douching or pelvic exam Menstrual bleeding that lasts longer or is heavier than usual Bleeding...

What is my doctor checking when he does my pelvic exam?

In a pelvic exam, the doctor checks the uterus, vagina, ovaries, fallopian tubes, bladder and rectum. The doctor feels these organs for any abnormality in their shape or size. A speculum is used to widen the vagina so that the doctor can see the upper part of the vagina and the cervix. The Pap test is a simple, painless test to detect abnormal cells in and around the cervix. A woman should have this test when she is not menstruating; the best time is between 10 and 20 days after the first day of her menstru...

How do I read my Pap smear results so that I can understand them?

Results Description Follow-up Within Normal Limits No abnormal cells detected. Return for pelvic exam and Pap test in one year. Atypia Cells of Uncertain Significance ASCUS Some cells show a few changes, or mild atypia. These changes might be due to a type of infection or Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) There is not one standard management plan for a patient with an ASCUS Pap smear. The appropriate follow-up and testing will depend on the patient's personal history. Nevertheless, appropriate evaluation usually ...

What is the difference between precancerous conditions and cancer of the cervix?

Cells on the surface of the cervix sometimes appear abnormal but not cancerous. Scientists believe that some abnormal changes in cells on the cervix are the first step in a series of slow changes that can lead to cancer years later. That is, some abnormal changes are precancerous, and they may become cancerous with time. Over the years, doctors have used different terms to refer to abnormal changes in the cells on the surface of the cervix. One term now used is squamous intraepithelial lesion (SIL). (The wo...

Are there clinical trials available for stomach cancer?

Yes, clinical trials are available for stomach cancer. Patients may consider clinical trials as a means of treatment. Clinical trials are studies of promising new or experimental treatments and are performed on patients. Clinical trials are performed only when the treatment being studied is likely to be of value to the patient. Participating in a clinical trial is up to the patient. Doctors and nurses will explain the study and its risks in detail and give the patient a form to read and sign, which is known...

Stomach Cancer Survivor’s Recovery

Each cancer survivor’s recovery is different, and a person’s adjustment after cancer treatment depends on a number of factors. Since the stomach is an important organ for helping the body absorb vitamins, if a person undergoes gastrectomy, doctors routinely prescribe vitamin supplements, some of which must be taken by injection. Patients often have to change their diet after a partial or total gastrectomy. Doctors usually recommend smaller, more frequent meals. It is important for people to seek support dur...

The side effects of Biological Therapy for Stomach Cancer Treatment

Side effects for biological therapy vary depending on treatment, but can include flu-like symptoms (chills, fever, weakness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea), a rash, bruising or bleeding. Patients may need to stay in the hospital while receiving some kinds of biological therapy. There are remedies for many of the side effects treatment and therapy can cause, and it is important for patients to communicate their side effects to their doctor and/or nurse.

The side effects of Chemotherapy for Stomach Cancer Treatment

Chemotherapy drugs enter the bloodstream, they are able to reach all parts of the body, making this treatment useful for cancer that has metastasized, or spread, to organs beyond the stomach. Unfortunately, along with killing cancer cells, chemotherapy drugs also damage normal cells. This can lead to temporary side effects such as nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, loss of hair, diarrhea, mouth sores, low blood count, increased chance of infection, bleeding or bruising after minor cuts/injuries, fatigue...

The side effects of Gastrectomy for Stomach Cancer Treatment

Gastrectomy (the removal of part or all of the stomach; the most effective treatment for stomach cancer) is major surgery, and patients will probably have to make temporary or permanent dietary changes. Those who have total gastrectomies can no longer absorb vitamin B12, which is necessary for healthy blood and nerves. These patients receive regular injections of B12. Some patients experience the dumping syndrome, when food and liquid enter the small intestine too quickly, causing cramps, nausea, diarrhea a...

Chemotherapy for Stomach Cancer

Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are used after surgery to minimize the risk of recurrence. A doctor may use just one method or combine methods to treat the cancer most effectively. These are some questions a person may want to ask his/her doctor before treatment begins: What is my diagnosis? What is the stage of the disease? What are my treatment choices? Which do you recommend for me? Why? What are the chances that the treatment will be successful? Would a clinical trial be appropriate for me? What are ...

How will my doctor know if I have stomach cancer?

There are some commonly used procedures to detect stomach cancer once it has been determined that risk factors or symptoms are present. To diagnose stomach cancer, a physician will conduct a complete medical history, a physical examination and laboratory studies that may include a fecal occult blood test or a complete blood count (CBC). For a fecal occult blood test, a stool sample is examined for hidden (occult) blood, since stomach cancer can sometimes cause bleeding that cannot be seen. However, other co...

What are the symptoms for stomach cancer?

These symptoms might be caused by stomach cancer: Indigestion or a burning sensation (heartburn) Discomfort or pain in the abdomen Nausea and vomiting Diarrhea or constipation Bloating of the stomach after meals Loss of appetite Weakness and fatigue Bleeding (vomiting blood or having blood in the stool) However, many of these symptoms are more often caused by other medical conditions. It is important to consult a physician to find out what is causing symptoms.

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