Scanomed - Nukleráis medicina központok

Cervical cancer

Cervical cancer is the second most frequent malignant cancer type among women after breast cancer. Most of the cases develop at a sexually active age. There are 500 000 new cases worldwide annually. In Hungary there are about 1500 new patients every year. 2,3 % of newborn girls can expect to have cervical cancer during their lifetime. Most cases develop between the age of 30 and 40. Deaths associated with cervical cancer are account for 10% of all cancer deaths. In developing countries cervical cancer is a leading cause of death among women.

The exact cause of cervical cancer is unknown. The most important risk factors are the following:

  • Human papilloma virus (HPV) infection. The incidence is higher if you change partners frequently, the risk increases proportionally with the number of partners.
  • Sexually active age.
  • Smoking.
  • Frequent genital (sexual organ) inflammation.



Cervical cancer is symptomless for a long time and it is most frequently discovered during cancer screening. Irregular bleeding is indicative of the developing cancer. Bleeding is characteristically bright red and frequently occurs in connection with sexual intercourse. Yellowish vaginal discharge with unpleasant smell is also frequent, which may occasionally be bloody like “meat juice”. If the cancer blocks the uterine cavity, the accumulation of menstrual fluid in the uterine cavity may cause severe lower abdominal pain that can become purulent and cause septic state. With growing of the tumor pain around the waist is more frequent, sexual intercourse, defecation and urination is also painful. In an advanced stage the tumor may intrude into the bladder and/or rectum which results in a formation of a fistula between the vagina, bladder and the rectum. The cancer may press down the ureter and urine accumulates in the pelvic cavity. Death of patients is most frequently caused by sepsis or the excessive bleeding from a significant vascular damage.


FDG PET-CT examination in case of cervical cancer

In case of a known cervical cancer PET-CT shows an exceptional sensitivity above all other imaging techniques concerning determination of primary stage (finding neighboring lymphatic and distant metastases).
This examination has also an important role in repeated stage assessment after therapy, in determining newly developed distant metastases and possible local recurrence.
The available results are promising and maybe in the future PET-CT will play an important role in the assessment of therapeutic response and in designing the radiotherapy.
However in primary diagnosis and regular follow-up of cervical cancer PET-CT does not have any significance.