How is Cervical Cancer Treated?

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Cervical Cancer Treatment: Cervical cancer is actually a preventable disease. Early diagnosis with smear/pap-smear test and an effective treatment method are present.

Cervical Cancer Treatment 

In the world, the second most common type of cancer in women under the age of 45 is cervical cancer, the third leading cause of death from cancer following breast and lung cancer. A woman dies every two minutes from cervical cancer based on global average. Although screening programs have a significant effect on reducing cervical cancer, women lose their lives due to cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is the eighth most common type of cancer that manifests itself in Turkey.

Risk Factors for Cervical Cancer

It is possible that people can protect themselves from some risk factors that cause cervical cancer. These include:

HPV (human papilloma virus): More than 80 types of HPV viruse is a risk factor for cervical cancer. About 80 of them are transmitted sexually, causing the person to develop cervical cancer. About half of these infections are associated with cervical cancer. Vaccines have been developed for two types HPV causing 90% of genital warts and 70% of cervical cancers. This vaccine has been scientifically proven to provide protection against HPV infections for a minimum period of five years. The maximum duration of the protection is still a matter of research.

Sexual History: HPV is actually a sexually transmitted disease. The risk of cervical cancer considerably increases in women who start sexual activity early and have a large number of partners. Birth control methods or gels that kill sperms are recommended for protection. In women who have had 7 or more pregnancies, the risk of cervical cancer significantly increases.

Cervical Cancer Treatment

Birth Control Pills: Women who use birth control pills for more than 5 years are also in the risk group for cervical cancer.

Screening: Regular gynecological follow-ups and pap-smear test are important factors for prevention or early detection of cervical cancer. Changes in the cervix are detected by pap-smear test, making it possible to treat cervical cancer before it develops. The risk of cervical cancer significantly increases in women who do not regularly undergo pap-smear test.

Smoking: As with other diseases, smoking increases the danger for cervical cancer.

Diet: Some studies have demonstrated that vitamins and minerals reduce the risk of cervical cancer. However, the studies are continuing for this. Knowing the risk factors for cervical cancer and paying attention to these factors will also help in the protection and help the person protect her health. Since HPV infection is very common and may arise at any age, sexually active women may face this risk in their in the course of their lives. If HPV virus has arisen in you and you have healed the infection, you are still not considered to be immunized to this virus.

Cervical Cancer Treatment 

There are two reasons for this:

The immune system may not be strong enough to provide long-term protection. If the person’s body was not able to give a strong response, it is quite possible to face the risk of reinfection with the HPV type.

The person’s immune response for HPV virus is highly specific and unique. When the immune system fights the virus, it develops immunity against that particular type of virus.

Cervical Cancer Treatment Methods and Types

Cervical cancer treatment, the treatment method to be preferred and the factors affecting the success of this treatment are as follows:

  • Age and general health condition of the person with cervical cancer
  • The stage of cervical cancer,
  • Whether cervical cancer involves a part ot the whole organ, to what extent the cancer has spread to nearby organs or regions whether it has spread or not, whether it has spread to the lymph nodes or different organs of the body
  • Types of cancer cells
  • The size of the tumor

In cervical cancer treatment, there are 3 conventional treatment methods. These are:
Surgical method: Surgical method is the surgical removal of the cancer from the body. However, there is a condition to use the surgical method. The cancer should not have spread to the regions other than the tumor location in order to be able to perform surgery. If the cancer has spread, surgical procedure cannot achieve success. The surgical operations to be performed according to the volume of the tumor are as follows:

Conization: If the cancer has involved only one part in the cervix, it is possible to treat the patient by removing a portion in the form of a cone. This method can sometimes be used for biopsy.

Cervical Cancer Treatment

Total hysterectomy: Total hysterectomy is the surgical removal of entire uterus with cervix. If the tubes and ovaries are also removed with the uterus, this method is called total hysterectomy with salpingo-oophorectomy. Depending on the stage of the disease, it can be performed through the abdomen, in other words abdominally or vaginally. Apart from these, closed (laparoscopic) operations can also be performed.

Radical hysterectomy: In this operation, the tubes, ovaries and all the ligaments that connect these structures and lymphatic gland regions are removed with uterus and cervix.

Radiotherapy:

Radiotherapy shows up as an important treatment method for cervical cancer which is used in those who underwent surgical treatment methods, but have possibility to have residual tumor cells, or in those who never underwent surgery and could not undergo surgery.

It can produce almost equal results with surgery in cases where still no treatment method is administered, in those with early stage cervical cancer, and apart from these, it is presented as the only treatment alternative in cases where surgical treatment methods cannot be used and the stage is advanced but the cancer has not spread.

Thanks to the latest technological advances and experienced specialists, they can produce almost completely error-free results with very low side effects. The reason for this is that rays can only be delivered to the most risky areas in terms of disease with modern treatment methods, while disease-free normal tissues and organs can be preserved in the best way.

Cervical cancer

However, what should be kept in mind is that even the most modern cervical cancer treatment methods can only produce successful result when combined with experience and skill. It may be quite harmful in the hands of inexperienced doctors. In fact, it may have consequences that may cost the patient’s life.

Cervical cancer treatment, the efficacy of radiotherapy considerably increases with simultaneously administered chemotherapy, in other words drug therapy. Therefore, it is administered together with chemotherapies based on a weekly program. In these chemotherapies, mostly easily-tolerated drugs are used. For example, compared to hard drugs, drugs with fewer side effects that even do not cause hair loss are used.

Cervical cancer treatment, the treatment of cervical cancer is administered with external radiotherapy based on an almost 5-week plan, and at the last stage of this, vaginal radiotherapy (brachytherapy) is initiated and the treatment ends with brachytherapy in the form of once weekly, mostly 3 cycles. The main goal here is to maximize the dose in the primary tumor area.