Clinical Presentation

A variety of dysplastic preinvasive lesions, of both squamous and glandular type, are commonly encountered within the cervix. These are usually picked up because of an abnormal cervical smear, performed in the United Kingdom as part of the NHS cervical screening programme. These abnormalities are often associated with and due to infection by human papilloma virus (HPV). Other symptoms related to cervical pathology include watery vaginal discharge and postcoital and intermenstrual bleeding. With advanced cervical tumours invading the bladder or rectum there may be urinary or bowel symptoms. Large tumours can protrude through the external cervical os into the vagina. Small cervical tumours may be asymptomatic. With advanced tumours the ureters can become obstructed with resultant hydronephrosis and renal failure - lymphoedema and deep venous thrombosis may also occur.

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