Cervical cancer is a disease that many women fall victim to in the United States and abroad. It is a degenerative disease that grows over time and spreads to other parts of the body. To that end, it is important for women to discover that they have the disease as early as possible as to limit their bodys exposure to the cancer.
Luckily, these days, we have developed many different kinds of methods that can be helpful when it comes to discovering the growth and progression of cervical cancer so that doctors can successfully treat and hopefully eliminate any cancerous tissue that may be present. In this article, well examine some of the techniques that doctors use in order to determine exactly where and how a case of cervical cancer is developing.
One of the most powerful tools at a doctors disposal with regards to diagnosing the severity of cervical cancer is known as the computed tomography, or CT scan. This scan is like an X-ray, but as opposed to taking one flat picture of an area of the body, the CT scan works by taking multiple pictures from multiple angles of your body so that doctors will be able to see any cancerous entities in 3-D, making it easier for them to discover how large the tumor is and the shape of it. These tests are usually administered after you have been instructed to drink a type of dye that makes it easier for the scans to outline the things that are inside of your body.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging, or MRIs, are another useful tool in the arsenal of a doctors diagnostic equipment. As opposed to using x-rays, MRIs use radio waves and magnets in order to build up an image of the body that is similar to the type of result that a computed tomography scan can produce.
As opposed to computed tomography scans, however, the process of receiving an MRI can take much longer, upwards of an hour sometimes. On the positive side of things, however, magnetic resonance imaging has been proven to be quite useful when it comes to diagnosing tumors that are located in the pelvic region, making it a somewhat ideal candidate for diagnosing cases of cervical cancer.
When cervical cancer begins to spread, it can start to affect other parts of the body which then need to be examined in order to determine the best ways for doctors to treat a patient. To that end, chest x-rays are often performed on those who have a case of cervical cancer that is highly developed in order to diagnose whether or not the disease has spread to the lungs. Also, intravenous urographies may be performed when a doctor suspects that a case of cervical cancer may have spread to the lymph nodes located in the pelvis.
As our knowledge of the disease continues to grow, so does our ability to fight it. Hopefully, in the coming years, we will be able to successfully beat cervical cancer. Until then, however, be sure that you take proper preventative measures and ensure that you visit your doctor for pap tests at least once every two years.