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Cervical Cancer

Cervical Cancer: What is it

The cervix is at the lowest part of the uterus (womb). Cancer of the cervix begins in its lining. There are 2 main types: squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma.

Cervical cancer develops in stages. In its early stages, it is potentially curable. That is why a regular Pap smear is important as it can detect abnormal cells that may one day become cancerous.

Risk Factors of Cervical Cancer

  1. Sexual intercourse at an early age
  2. Previous infection by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
  3. Any medical condition or treatment that aff ects your immune system e.g. autoimmune disease, taking long-term steroids
  4. Past diagnosis of pre-cancerous stage (CIN) - Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia
  5. Smoking

Signs and Symptoms of Cervical Cancer

  1. Vaginal bleeding in between periods
  2. Bleeding after intercourse
  3. Postmenopausal bleeding
  4. Foul-smelling vaginal discharge
  5. Non-specific pain in the pelvic area
  6. Lower back pain
  7. Unexplained tiredness

Pre-cancerous (CIN) stage and Early Cervical Cancer (CIS - carcinoma in-situ) usually have no symptoms. Therefore, it is important for women to have regular Pap smears. All women should go for a Pap smear if they have ever had sex. Pap smears can be done one to three yearly as advised by the doctor.

These symptoms may be caused by a number of problems and may not indicate the presence of cancer, but if any of the above symptoms persists or is bothering you, do consult your doctor for advice.

Screening for Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer screening is available at:

  • KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital
  • Singapore General Hospital
  • SingHealth Polyclinics

Treatment for Cervical Cancer

Treatment options for cervical cancer include surgery, ranging from cryosurgery to hysterectomy, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Specialist Services

Specialist services are available at the following institutions:

  • National Cancer Centre Singapore
    Tel: 6436 8088
  • KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital
    Tel: 6294 4050
  • Singapore General Hospital Tel:
    6321 4377