or, less commonly,
Treatment is with
If symptoms persist, the
inflamed area of cervix may be cauter-
cervix A small, cylindrical organ compris-
ing the lower part and neck of the
and separating the body and cavity of
the uterus from the
and smooth muscle tissue of the cervix
creates a form of sphincter, which can
stretch during pregnancy and childbirth.
The cervical canal runs through the
cervix and allows the passage of blood
and of sperm from
the vagina into the uterus; it also forms
part of the birth canal during childbirth.
After puberty, mucus is secreted from
the glandular cells in the canal to assist
sperm entry into the upper cervix.
cervix, cancer of One of the most com-
mon cancers affecting women worldwide.
Cancer of the
precancerous stages (see
that can be detected by a
sm ear test,
allowing, in many cases, early
treatment and a complete cure. Un-
treated, cancer of the cervix may spread
to the organs in the
There are 2 main types of cervical can-
cer: the squamous type is the most
common and is thought to be associated
with the human papilloma virus, acquired
during sexual intercourse. Factors that
predispose to this type of cancer are
starting to have sex at an early
age, and having many sexual partners.
The second, rarer, type of cervical cancer,
adenocarcinoma, sometimes occurs in
women who have never had sexual
intercourse. Its causes are unclear.
Symptoms do not develop until the
condition is advanced, when there is
vaginal bleeding or a bloodstained dis-
charge at unexpected times, and pain if
the cancer has spread within the pelvis.
Following an abnormal smear test
be carried out to diagnose the condition.
A localized early cancer may be destroyed
electrocoagulation, diathermy, laser
If the cancer
has spread into the cervical canal, a cone
biopsy may be sufficient to remove all
the diseased tissue. In more advanced
cases affecting the pelvic organs,
may be given. Radical surgery,
in which the bladder, vagina, cervix,
uterus, and rectum are removed, may
be recommended in certain cases,
cervix, disorders of The
ceptible to injuries, infections, tumours,
and other conditions. Minor injury to
the cervix may occur during childbirth,
particularly if labour is prolonged. Per-
sistent damage to muscle fibres as a
result of injury may lead to
incompetence. Cervical erosion
is a con-
dition in which mucus-secreting cells
form on the outside of the cervix.
The most common cervical infections
are sexually transmitted, such as
Viral infections of the
cervix include those due to the human
papilloma virus and the herpes simplex
warts, genital; herpes
are noncancerous growths on the
cervix. Cancerous growths (see
are preceded by changes in the
surface cells (
can be detected by a
cervical sm ear test.
cestodes The scientific name for tape-
relieve the symptoms of conditions such
(hay fever) and
used in prepara-
tions for cleansing the skin.
Chagas' disease An infectious parasitic
disease found only in parts of South
and Central America that is spread by