What is Neuroendocrine Carcinoma of the Cervix?Neuroendocrine carcinoma of the cervix is a rare type of cervical cancer that arises from the neuroendocrine cells of the cervix. It is a very aggressive tumor with a poor prognosis (likely course of the disease). Neuroendocrine cells are cells that send and receive electrical or chemical signals from the brain and spinal cord and release various hormones or secretions in response to these signals.
What is the Cervix?The cervix is the lower part of the uterus; it is cylinder-shaped and connects the uterus with the vagina in the female body.
Disease CausesThere is no well-known cause, however, certain hereditary and genetic mutations are considered responsible for the development of neuroendocrine carcinoma of the cervix.
Disease EpidemiologyThey account for approximately 0.9-1.5% of all tumors of the uterus and cervix. It mainly develops in women of reproductive age (15-49 years). The mean age for the development of the disease is 45 years.
Signs and SymptomsThe common signs and symptoms are:
- Bleeding from the vagina after sexual intercourse
- Abnormal bleeding from the vagina between the two menstrual cycles
- Pain in the pelvic region or lower part of the abdomen during the sexual intercourse
- Pain while passing urine
- Pain during sex
- Pain in the back
- Bleeding from the vagina after menopause
DiagnosisFollowing diagnostic tests and procedures can be used to make the diagnosis. These are
- Complete blood count ( CBC)
- Serum tumor markers
- Pap smear
- Imaging techniques like ultrasonography (USG), CT-scan, MRI, and X-Ray to detect the site, size, and extent of the tumor.
- Pelvic examination through per- speculum examination of the vagina, cervix, and ovaries. A speculum is a gynecological instrument used to visualize the vaginal wall, cervix, uterus, and ovaries to detect any abnormality.
- Surgery is the most common and effective treatment. Other treatment options are chemotherapy and radiation therapy.