Cervical Cancer Treatment in Northern New Jersey

Doctor shows test results to cancer patient sitting up in hospital bedAs the fourth most common cancer in women around the world, screenings for cervical cancer are a necessary and important aspect of women’s health. And when this cancer is diagnosed, cervical cancer treatment should proceed right away.

Bergen Medical Associates encourages all patients to get regular screenings for cervical cancer and other conditions, depending on their risk factors and other demographic information. Our gynecology department provides educational resources, regular examinations and testing, and referrals for patients who require cervical cancer treatment. Learn more about cervical cancer and care from Bergen Medical Associates.

What Is Cervical Cancer?

Cancer is present when cells grow uncontrollably in any part of the body. The cervix is a part of the female reproductive system that connects the vagina and uterus. Cervical cancer is a dangerous disease, but modern screening methods are available to find it in the early stages. The human papillomavirus, or HPV, is the main cause of cervical cancer.

Early detection and treatment offer the best chance for a positive outcome. Bergen Medical Associates encourages all women to schedule a visit with a gynecology practitioner at least once a year to discuss any medical issues and to receive screening for cervical cancer and other conditions.

Signs and Symptoms of Cervical Cancer

Unfortunately, most women with early cervical cancers don’t notice any symptoms. This is exactly why regular screening tests are encouraged. If the disease is not found in early stages through testing, cancer cells can grow into adjacent tissues. During this later phase of cervical cancer, patients may experience the following symptoms:

  • Unusual vaginal bleeding and discharge
  • Pain during sex or in the pelvic region
  • Problems with urination or bowel movements
  • Blood in the urine
  • Swelling in the legs

While these signs and symptoms may be related to a condition other than cervical cancer, it is imperative that a medical professional examine the patient. Our team of medical professionals includes more than 40 board-certified physicians, nurses, and other highly trained staff. We offer multiple medical specialties, including primary care physicians.

Risk Factors for Cervical Cancer

The main risk factor for developing cervical cancer is human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, which may spread through sexual contact and skin-to-skin touching. While HPV encompasses a wide variety of viruses, certain types are related to genital and anal warts, while others are linked to cancers, including cervical cancer, as well as cancer of the penis, anus, throat, mouth, vulva, and vagina.

Other risk factors for cervical cancer include:

  • Becoming sexually active at a young age
  • Having multiple sex partners
  • Smoking tobacco products
  • Weak immune system, due to HIV or other causes
  • Repeated chlamydia infections
  • Multiple full-term pregnancies, and young first full-term pregnancy
  • Challenges related to low income or lack of access to healthcare
  • Poor diet, especially low in fruits and vegetables
  • Family history of cervical cancer

How Is Cervical Cancer Diagnosed at Bergen Medical Associates?

The two most common screening tests for cervical cancer are the Pap test and the HPV test. Patients can be tested for both. When patients visit the Bergen Medical Associates gynecology department, the medical team will collect cells from inside the vagina for testing. The tests will examine the cells for evidence of precancerous cells, or changes to the cervix that may eventually develop into cancer cells. The HPV test looks for viral components that can also cause cell changes and cervical cancer.

Patients should start getting Pap tests at age 21 if no other signs or abnormalities are present. If patients have been vaccinated for HPV in their early teens, they are at reduced risk for developing cervical cancer.

Cervical Cancer Treatment Options

If the Pap or HPV screening test indicates that cervical cancer may be present, the gynecology department at Bergen Medical Associates will refer the patient to an oncologist. These doctors specialize in diagnosing and treating cancer. Depending on the stage and extent, cervical cancer treatments may include:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy

Get Regular Health Screenings at Bergen Medical Associates in Northern NJ

Bergen Medical Associates helps patients in northern New Jersey take care of their health. We offer regular screenings for cervical cancer and other conditions. Our convenient locations make it easy for patients to access our services. Our medical team includes primary care doctors and a variety of specialists. For more information, contact us today.