Last Updated on Jan 28, 2016

HIV-AIDS - Cervical Cancer - Symptoms, Treatment

The cervix is the lower tubular portion of the uterus in females. Cancer of the cervix has recently been included among the AIDS defining malignancies. Initially, the cells of the cervix become abnormal. This leads to a growth localized to the inner lining of the cervix. If left untreated, it spreads through the full thickness of the cervix and then to other organs.

Symptoms of cervical cancer

Initially, the patient does not experience any symptoms. In the late stages, the patient may have symptoms of abnormal vaginal bleeding and discharge.

Treatment of cervical cancer

Early detection of cervical cancer is possible with a test called Pap smear. In this test, a swab of the cervix is taken and the cells examined under a microscope for any abnormality. Treatment depends on the stage of the cancer. Most cases are treated surgically. If the cancer has spread to other organs and surgery cannot result in cure, the patient is treated with chemotherapy. Anti HIV drugs are also administered to the patient.

References:

  1. Harrisonís Principles of Internal Medicine 17th edition.
  2. NonĖAIDS-Defining Malignancies in HIV. Top HIV Med. 2008;16(4):117-121.
  3. Cheung MC, Pantanowitz L, Dezube BJ. AIDS-Related Malignancies: Emerging Challenges in the Era of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy. The Oncologist 2005;10:412Ė426.
  4. Sullivan RJ, Pantanowitz L, Casper C, Stebbing J, and Dezube BJ. Epidemiology, pathophysiology and treatment of Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus disease: Kaposi sarcoma, primary effusion lymphoma, and multicentric Castleman disease. Clin Infect Dis. 2008 November 1; 47(9): 1209Ė1215.
  5. Pantanowitz L, and Dezube BJ. Evolving Spectrum and Incidence of Non-AIDS-Defining Malignancies. Curr Opin HIV AIDS. 2009 January ; 4(1): 27Ė34.
  6. Engels EA. Non-AIDS-defining malignancies in HIV-infected persons: etiologic puzzles, epidemiologic perils, prevention opportunities. AIDS. 2009 May 15; 23(8): 875Ė885.

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