Treatment of cervical cancer depends on several factors. Eg, stage of cancer, type of cancer, the patient’s age, the desire to have children, other medical conditions that are being faced, and treatment options as desired. Deciding how best treatment can be very confusing. Cervical cancer is usually handled by a team of physicians from various specialties. This team will help choose the best way to continue the treatment, but the final decision remains in your hands.
Type of treatment according to the stage of cancer is divided into two. The first is the treatment of early stage cervical cancer, the surgical removal of part or the whole organ womb, radiotherapy, or a combination of both. And the second is the treatment of end-stage cervical cancer, namely radiotherapy and / or chemotherapy, and surgery is sometimes also necessary.
If the diagnosis of cervical cancer has been known since the beginning, the possibility of a full recovery are pretty good. But if the cancer has spread, the chances of a full recovery will be reduced. In the case of cervical cancer can not be cured, it may be advisable to do palliative care. Treatment of this type serves to slow the spread of cancer, prolong the life of patients and reduce symptoms such as pain and vaginal bleeding.
Appointment Procedure Precancerous Cells
Pap smear results may not indicate the presence of cervical cancer, but it can be seen in case of biological changes that could potentially be cancerous in the future. Here are some treatments available:
- Cone biopsy: the removal of the territories where the abnormal tissue through a surgical procedure.
- Laser therapy: the use of a laser to burn the abnormal cells.
- LLETZ or large loop excision of the transformation zone: abnormal cells cut wear thin wire and electric current.
Lifting Operation Cervical Cancer
There are three main types of surgery for cervical cancer.
Radical surgery trachelectomy
This procedure is more suitable for cervical cancer is detected at an early stage and will be offered to women who still want to have children. This operation is aimed at lifting the cervix, surrounding tissue, and the upper part of the vagina, without lifting the uterus.
You are still more likely to have children because the uterus is not removed. Postoperatively, uterus and vagina takes time to recover. It would be advisable to wait six months to a year after surgery before deciding to become pregnant.
Surgery which involves removal of the uterus
Hysterectomy is the surgical removal of a woman’s uterus. Hysterectomies are performed for a variety of reasons, one of them for early stage cervical cancer surgery. So that cancer does not come back again, radiotherapy may also be necessary.
There are two types of hysterectomy. First, a simple hysterectomy. This is a procedure where the cervix and uterus will be removed. In some cases, the ovaries and fallopian tubes may also be removed. This procedure can be done for early stage cervical cancer.
The second radical hysterectomy. Cervical, ovarian, surrounding tissue, lymph nodes, ovaries, and fallopian tubes, everything will be lifted. This operation tends to be done in the advanced stage cervical cancer and stage two in the early stages.
Side effects or short-term complications of a hysterectomy are:
- Risk of injury to the ureter, bladder, and rectum
- Blood clotting
Possible long-term complications of a hysterectomy are:
- The inability to hold urine.
- The vagina becomes shorter and drier, sexual intercourse can be painful.
- Digestion in the intestine is blocked due to the buildup of scar. It may take longer to open surgery.
- Swelling of the arms and legs due to fluid buildup or lymphedema.
Although the risk of complications is small, but it will be very difficult case. With hysterectomy, pregnancy is unlikely and if the ovaries are removed, this can also trigger menopause in patients not yet experienced it.
Pelvic exenteration is a major surgery that is recommended only if the cervical cancer reappeared after having been treated and had recovered. This operation is done if the cancer returned to the pelvic region, but has not spread to other regions.
After surgery, the vagina can be reconstructed wear skin and tissue taken from other body parts. You can still have sex a few months after the operation.
There are two stages that must be passed pelvic exenteration. The first stage, the cancer will be removed along with the bladder, rectum, vagina, and the lower part of the intestine. Then the second stage, the two opening called a stoma will be made in the abdomen to remove urine and excrement. Dirt dumped inserted into the storage bag, called the colostomy bag.
Treatment of Cervical Cancer with Radiotherapy
For the treatment of early stage cervical cancer, radiotherapy can be done alone or in combination with surgery. While in the end-stage cervical cancer, radiotherapy combined with chemotherapy to control bleeding and pain.
Radiotherapy can be given in two ways:
- External. Radiotherapy machine will fire a high-energy waves into the patient’s pelvis to destroy cancer cells.
- Internal. Radioactive implant to be inserted in the vagina and cervix patients.
Radiotherapy process usually runs about one to two months. However, radiotherapy is not only destroys cancer cells, sometimes, radiotherapy also destroy healthy tissue. The side effects can last for months or even years. In some cases, these side effects can be permanent. However, most side effects will disappear within two months after completing treatment.
Advantages of radiotherapy is often greater than the risks and side effects. For some people, radiotherapy offers the only hope to destroy the cancer. The side effects of radiotherapy are:
- Pain during urination.
- Bleeding from the vagina and rectum.
- Damage the bladder and bowel so that loss of control in defecating and small.
- Narrow vagina so sex becomes a pain.
- Sores in the skin in the pelvic area.
- Damage the ovaries, resulting in early menopause.
Egg cells can be removed through surgery of the ovaries prior to radiotherapy, if you worry about fertility. This egg can be implanted back in the womb. To prevent menopause, the ovaries can be moved outside the pelvic area is not affected radiation. This process is better known as ovarian transposition.
Treating Cervical Cancer with Chemotherapy
To treat cervical cancer, chemotherapy can be combined with radiotherapy. For late-stage cancer. Chemotherapy is done to slow the spread and reduce the symptoms. This treatment is often referred to as palliative chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy taking drugs to destroy cancer cells. In contrast to radiotherapy or surgery that affects a certain part, chemotherapy will affect the entire body. These drugs target the cells that grow and multiply rapidly, particularly cancer cells. But the healthy cells that multiply rapidly may also be affected.
Chemotherapy can use a specific drug to kill cancer cells. One drug is commonly called cisplatin. But a combination of chemotherapy drugs can also be applied. Chemotherapy treatment is given intravenously on an outpatient basis. Patients were allowed to go home after receiving treatment as prescribed.
You have to make frequent blood tests while undergoing chemotherapy treatment. Blood tests are intended to check the health of your kidneys, because some chemotherapy drugs can damage the kidneys.
This treatment can also be damaging healthy tissue. The most common side effects occur are:
- Experiencing thrush.
- Loss of appetite.
- Get tired.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Hair loss: hair can grow back within three to six months after chemotherapy is completed. But not all chemotherapy causes hair loss.
- The number of red blood cells is reduced: this can lead to fatigue and shortness of breath. You will be prone to infections due to a lack of white blood cells.
Treatment In Pregnancy
Treatment of cervical cancer during pregnancy depends on the stage of the cancer and also the age of your pregnancy. For example you suffer from early stage cervical cancer and are at the age of nine months of pregnancy. Treatment is delayed until you deliver the baby. Cancer treatment can cause premature birth or even miscarriage.
Continued action Post-Treatment
After the treatment of cervical cancer, it is important to receive follow-up examination. Especially needed in the vagina and cervix when the cancer has not been lifted. This examination aims to find a sign for their risk of cancer could reappear. A biopsy will be performed again if there is anything suspicious. The reappearance of this cancer usually occurs around one and a half years after completion of treatment.
Continued treatment is done once every four months, it is for the first two years after treatment is completed. Then, every six months to once a year for the next three years.