Cervical Cancer Treatment

Cervical Cancer Treatment


Contents:


What is the Treatment for Cervical Cancer

We should start by mentioning that while undergoing the process of treatment you are free to ask any question concerning it that you feel you don’t have a full grasp of. The same refers to any aspect of the treating techniques that give raise to doubts on your part.

Talking advantages as well as possible negative effects and consequences over with an expert will definitely provide you with a better information and understanding of the process. As for an expert, it can be your GP, gynecologist or even a gynecological nurse. By the way, you are also allowed either to write the questions you have down beforehand or invite a relative to give you a company when going to see the doctor. Choose any way you feel more comfortable to do it.

It also so happens that from time to time cancer treatment procedures turn out to be too complicated for people with no medical background to fathom. Therefore, you may feel a bit puzzled. However, this should in no way worry you. Doctors as well as medical staff are accustomed to the constant necessity to answer and explain things a patient doesn’t understand. Here we find it important to underline that actually it’s part of their work and for this reason this need to make clear even very tiny details shouldn’t be disturbing for them. Even if you feel shy to ask any question since you think the care team has other more important things to attend at the time, the medical staff is to be enthusiastic about going into details of the treatments and its side effects.

There are various cervical cancer treatment options. They involve surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Your doctor may find it necessary to prescribe a combination of treatment techniques. Final decision on the treatment in every particular case is made on the basis of the information about your stage of cancer, age group and general state of health.

If you’re dealing with a cervical cancer at an early stage, this is when cancer has had an influence only on the cervix, the success rate amounts to 85 – 90%. Keep in mind that the more advanced cancer is the more the success rate drops down.

Treatment Options You Have on an Early Stage of the Cancer

In the majority of cases, if cancer is located only in the cervix, a surgical operation is carried out. The surgical operation may be followed by radiotherapy if your doctor supposes there are still cancer cells present in any part of your organism. It is also recommended in order to lower the risk of the cancer relapse. In some particular cases, a doctor may recommend a patient undergo a series of chemotherapy sessions with the view of making the tumor shrink. However, this is really rare.

Surgery Operations Options in Case of an Early Stage Cancer

  • Cone biopsy is the procedure that aims to eliminate any abnormality in your organism. A cone-shaped scalpel is used to remove cone-shaped cervical tissue piece.
  • Laser surgery is a procedure when a narrow beam of intense light is directed exactly at the cancerous and precancerous cells thus destroying them completely.
  • LEEP or loop electrosurgical excision procedure means that there is a wire loop that sends current cuts through tissue and thus removes all abnormal cells from your organism.
  • Cryosurgery implies that abnormal cells get frozen and die.
  • Hysterectomy means removing cancerous and precancerous areas together with the cervix and the uterus. Still, there is no need for you to panic as this procedure is carried out only in very particular cases of noninvasive cancer and is really rare.

Surgery Options in Case of an Advanced Cancer

Cervical Cancer Treatment Options

Unfortunately, if cancer has invaded other organs apart from the cervix, a surgical operation is not possible. By the way, advanced cancer is very often called invasive for the reason that it has spread to other organs and is no more located at the place where it started. No wonder that it requires a more – encompassing kind of treatment. A patient usually has only two options to choose from – either a radiotherapy or a combination of radiotherapy and chemotherapy. On the later stages of cancer, palliative therapy is meant to subdue symptoms and make the quality of life better.

Radiotherapy

Radiation therapy, radiation oncology or XRT – these are all the terms for this kind of treatment. It is common if a patient has a case of cancer or suffers from thyroid and blood disorders. 40% of patients are prescribed to do radiotherapy. However, this number is approximate. The procedure is carried out with the help of high-energy X-rays that destroy cancer for good. In other words, these X-rays are highly detrimental to the DNA of the tumor cells. As a result of being badly damaged, they can’t reproduce themselves anymore.

The procedure cannot only be external, but internal as well. In this case, it is called brachytherapy and is carried out by putting radioactive material close to the cervix. Based on the opinion of gynecologic oncologists, advanced cervical cancer patients have more chances to recover if XRT is combined with cisplatin-based chemotherapy.

If the X-rays are directed in the pelvic area, some side effects may occur. However, bear in mind that they may become obvious even after the treatment is over and a lot of time has passed.

The side effects are as follows:

  • Diarrhea;
  • Nausea;
  • Stomach disorder;
  • Bladder being irritated;
  • Narrowing of the vagina;
  • Not regular menstrual cycle;
  • Menopause starting rather early.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is when various chemical stuff is taken advantage of so that to kill cancer cells. In general, it can be used as treatment against any disease. Thanks to cytotoxic drugs, cancer cells are unable to reproduce themselves and grow. Nowadays, when doctors speak about chemotherapy they imply exactly cytotoxic drugs. In case of different cancer cases and cervical cancer in particular, the main aim of this procedure is to destroy those cells that weren’t eliminated during a surgical operation. However, it also serves as a helping hand in subduing the symptoms of those who have advanced cancer. Most often, cisplatin is used in combination with radiation procedures.

As for the side effects chemotherapy can cause, they may be different and, to a great extent, rely on what particular drug is being taken.

You will find a list of the most usual to occur side effects below:

  • Diarrhea;
  • Nausea;
  • You may start losing hair;
  • Fatigue;
  • Being unable to get pregnant;
  • Menopause starting early.

Clinical Trials

Very often it so happens that clinical trials is the best choice a patient has since lots of up-to-date treatment techniques appeared as a result of such like trials. Besides, they are an indispensable part of researches in the field of cancer. Their key aim is finding out how safe and efficient new treatments are since any treatment provided should not only contribute to the process of recovery from a certain disease, but it should also do no harm to all the rest organs that are functioning normally. Then, a conclusion is made whether they are good enough to replace the treatments that already exist.

A person who makes a decision to be a part of this process is to choose between standard or new treatment. Only one kind of treatment at a time is possible. Then, the results of 2 groups of patients are compared with each other. There are cases when there’s also the third group that is on placebo. There’s no secret that those who participate in clinical trials play a really huge role in research and medical innovations.

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