Cervical cancer begins when cells in the cervix begin to grow at an abnormally rapid pace. At first, the cells go through pre-cancerous changes. At this stage, some women will develop cancer, while others won’t, even without treatment. For those who develop cancer, it typically takes several years for the precancerous stage to become cervical cancer.
A virus called the human papilloma virus (HPV) causes nearly all cases of cervical cancer. The type of HPV that causes cervical cancer is transmitted during sexual intercourse with a person who’s already infected with HPV. You can get HPV from having any type of sex and even when your partner doesn’t have any symptoms of the virus.
In some women, HPV doesn’t cause any problems because the immune system suppresses the virus within 1-2 years. In others, the virus invades healthy cells in the cervix, which causes them to grow abnormally.
Cervical cancer usually doesn’t cause any symptoms in the early stage. As the cells turn cancerous and begin to affect surrounding tissues, you may develop symptoms such as:
These symptoms should never be ignored, so please contact The Association for Women’s Health Care for a thorough examination. You may not have cervical cancer, but if you do, early detection and treatment is vital.
A Pap smear is a way to screen for cervical cancer. Your doctor uses a simple wooden or plastic scraper or brush to remove cells from the cervix. The sample is then sent to a laboratory for analysis.
When the Pap sample is viewed under a microscope, early changes in cervical cells are identified. Depending on the results, you’ll need further screening, possibly an HPV test, or your doctor may perform a colposcopy to take a biopsy and verify the exact diagnosis.
Using regular Pap smears for early detection of cellular changes means you’ll catch precancerous changes at their earliest stage, when they can be successfully treated.
Not all of the Association of Women’s Health Care (AWHC) physicians participate in all of the plans listed below. Patients are advised to contact their insurance company before an appointment to verify individual physician participation. *Please note that our insurance plans may change or we may not be accepting certain types of insurance at times, so please contact us at Chicago (312) 726-3917 or Northbrook (847) 498-0690 to check if we take your insurance plan.
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"Let me start by saying Dr. Kleinberg is amazing! He is really knowledgeable, warm and a good communicator."
"I really can't say enough positive things about him. He has always went out of his way to provide good care, and I believe he truly loves being an OBGYN."
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"Dr. Sibul delivered my son in 2005 and provided excellent care throughout the pregnancy and after."
"She has an amazing bedside manner always taking the time to explain things and also has the patience to deal with answering the many questions I have."
"Dr. Kleinberg was my OBGYN throughout my second pregnancy, and I cannot speak highly enough of him."
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"Doctor David Baum was my OB, when I delivered my daughter. He was highly professional! His sense of humor helped me survive the painful contractions!"
"Dr. Baum delivered my daughter, and I have to say, when he was in charge, my husband and I both knew everything would be fine!"
"Dr. Ginsberg is the best doctor I have ever seen. He truly cares about his job and what he does for people."