Cervical cancer treatment is based on multiple factors, like staging established at diagnosis, other existent health conditions that the woman might be having and the patient’s preference regarding therapy. Outlook is based on the cancer staging and tends to drop drastically as the disease advances since therapy of localized lesions is usually more effective as compared to whole-body therapies like chemotherapy.
Treatment for Cervical Cancer
Therapy options for cancer of the cervix might be a standalone treatment or a combination of treatments. These include any of the following explained approaches.
It involves direct placement of a metallic probing device on the cervix that has been pre-chilled with liquid nitrogen. This action freezes and helps in killing any cellular abnormality. It is deployed in the treatment of stage zero cervical cancer, though not applicable for invasive form of cervical cancer.
Cervical conization involves excising the coniform or cylindric wedge from the uterine cervix. When cervical conization has been advised, it doesn’t essentially mean that the woman has cancer of the cervix. Degree of excision might be medically altered in accordance to individualistic requirements.
It is a commonly recommended procedure for treating cervical dysplasia (any abnormal growth) after irregular Pap test results or for removal of malignant or pre-malignant cells or tissue. This procedure is ideally used for women with zero to IA1 staging of cervical cancer or those who received moderate to acute biopsy outcomes (cervical intraepithelial neoplasia CIN 2 – moderate dysplasia or carcinoma-in-situ CIN 3 – severe dysplasia).
Cold-Knife Conization (CKC)
A scalpel or a sharp knife for surgical purposes is used for removing the tissue after administering local or general anesthesia to the patient. It is classically linked to more blood loss as compared to the loop electrocautery excision or laser conization procedures.
Loop Electrocautery Excision (LEEP)
The procedure can be conducted in the doctor’s clinic or any outpatient setting. It is a virtually bloodless method that the specialist performs with the help of an electrosurgical loop. Higher frequency and less voltage radio waves are deployed for excisional purposes.
It might be performed by the use of a carbon-dioxide or CO2 laser for excising or destructing the aberrant tissue via vaporization. It is a comparatively costlier procedure which is of a lengthier duration, particularly when low power density is deployed.
It is generally a method that is laser-initiated & concludes with the cold knife approach.
Surgery is the treatment route for cervical cancer which hasn’t yet advanced beyond Stage II. It is advised for removal of any cancerous tissue and the form of surgery required in dependent on the site and degree of cervical cancer as well as whether the woman wishes to bear offspring in the near future.
In this procedure, the cervix, womb and perhaps, other organs might be removed if the cancer has progressed deeper into the cervical region or metastasized to adjoining organs. It is used for treating females with stage IA2 and B cervical cancer.
Open Radical Hysterectomy
It has been used for over a century in conjunct with PLND (pelvic lymph node dissection or removal of some pelvic lymph nodes) for operatively treating initial staging of cervical cancer. Lymph nodes are removed via key-hole surgery when cancer metastasis has occurred. As uterus is spared during the procedure, pregnancy is possible in the future.
Robotic Radical Hysterectomy
Advanced endoscopic methods are presently being used for treating cervical cancer. Fertility preservation, minimal post-operative discomfort and hospitalization are some of the advantages of robot-assisted hysterectomy. PLND is used along with this approach for usually treating stages I (A2 and B), particularly among younger females.
The surgeon would totally remove the womb and cervix, though preserving the fallopian tubes & ovaries. Salpingo-oophorectomy might be performed along with this procedure wherein the cervix, womb & a single or duo ovaries as well as fallopian tubes would be excised. This is generally performed for treating stage IA of cervical cancer.
It is used for shriveling cervical carcinomas & reducing cancerous growth. It is recommended for treating cervical cancer which has metastasized past the cervical region. It is generally deployed as the mainstay therapy or following a hysterectomy procedure.
Prevalently used chemotherapy drugs for treating cancer of the cervix comprise of Bevacizumab, Docetaxel, Fluororacil, Carboplatin, Mitomycin, Paclitaxel, Epirubicin and Cisplatin. Majority of the medicines used in chemotherapy carry associated side-effects like hair fall, queasiness, oral sores, diarrhea or diminished desire to eat, among others for which the physician would advice some medicines.
High dosage X ray beams or implants are used in the womb cavity for obliterating cancerous cells. It is mostly recommended in conjunct with surgery. It could additionally help in annihilating any remnant cancerous cells following surgery. It is used as a palliative treatment for relieving cancer-causing symptoms & improving quality of existence.
Brachytherapy or Internal Radiation Therapy procedure is applicable for females that are not candidates for surgery. In this method, radioactive substance is introduced inside the tumors. External radiation therapy might also be given in conjunct with chemotherapy for women who are diagnosed with stage IB, IIA, IIB, III and IVA cervical cancer.
Associated side-effects of radiation therapy are weariness, queasiness, watery bowels, decreased cell counts, altered urinary patterns or irritated skin. Bone thinning & augmented likelihood of pelvis fracture, inclusive of the hip region are also likely side-effects of radiation therapy. For preventing them the doctor would recommend getting sufficient quantities of vitamin D as well as calcium.
Several study findings suggest that the inclusion of hyperthermia in conjunct with radiation therapy helps to prevent cancer recurrence & improve patient longevity. It is a therapy which uses radiofrequency or RF aerials positioned around the patients for increasing temperature in the tumor site.
The collective usage of radiation along with chemotherapy has proven to boost survival rates as compared to solely using radiation therapy. The International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) points out that this approach is particularly effective with the use of cisplastin drug in chemotherapy.
It is an extensive surgery conducted for treating cervical cancer that has recurred after treatment. In addition to the procedure followed in radical hysterectomy plus PLND, the oncologist would remove rectum, womb, bladder or section of the colon, based on the location of cancer metastasis. Novel means of urinary storage & elimination are created by the surgeon. Analogously, novel means of fecal elimination are devised when the rectal area or section of colon has been excised for cancer removal.