Surgery: Most women suffering from cervical cancer undergo surgery as part of treatment or for diagnosing cervical cancer. There are several surgical options for cervical cancer, depending on the cancer stage. These include:
Laser ablation: It is the technique that makes use of a laser beam on abnormal cancerous cells so as to burn them. The procedure may be done under local or general anesthesia. Laser ablation is also a treatment for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia.Cryosurgery: Cryosurgery uses a very cold metal probe to freeze abnormal cells. The oncologists place the cold probe on the cervix. This procedure is relatively more comfortable for the patients than laser ablation. However, the patients may experience white discharge after cryosurgery.Conization: This procedure is performed to remove the cone-shaped tissue from the cervix.Hysterectomy: The procedure is used for the treatment of invasive cervical cancer. The hysterectomy is the procedure to remove the affected part. The technique treats early-stage cancer and prevents cervical cancer recurrence. The oncosurgeons may perform a simple hysterectomy or radical hysterectomy. A simple hysterectomy is a procedure to remove the uterus and the cervix but not the surrounding structures. In a radical hysterectomy, the oncosurgeons remove the uterus, including the uterosacral ligaments, cervix, and the upper part of the vagina present next to the cervix. The nearby lymph nodes are also removed for examination.Trachelectomy: The procedure involves the removal of the cervix and upper vaginal section. The uterus in this procedure remains intact; thus, the patients may get pregnant after the treatment. Trachelectomy may be done through either the vagina or the abdomen.
Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy may also be used for cancer treatment and is administered in injectable, oral, or both forms. In patients with locally advanced cancer, oncologists usually prescribe low-dose chemotherapy along with radiotherapy, as the effect of radiation therapy may be enhanced by chemotherapy. Cancer specialists generally prescribe high-dose chemotherapy to relieve symptoms in patients with advanced metastatic cancer.
Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy is combined with chemotherapy (for locally advanced cervical cancer) and surgery (in patients with an increased risk of cancer recurrence). The radiation therapy can be delivered through external beam radiations of brachytherapy. In some cases, the patient may undergo a combination of both types of radiation therapy. In women who have not attained menopause, radiation therapy may result in menopause. Thus, women planning to get pregnant after radiation therapy should discuss options.
Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy enhances the functioning of the immune cells. This therapy is generally reserved for patients with advanced cervical cancer, and when the patient is not responding to other treatment options.
Targeted therapy: Targeted therapy targets the specific proteins and genes of the cancer cells essential for their growth and development. Targeted therapy may be used along with chemotherapy in patients with advanced cervical cancer.
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