Cervix is the part of the body that joins the uterus and the vagina. A mutation in the cervical cells leads to cervical cancer. When cancer becomes aggressive, it starts affecting the deeper tissues of the cervix and can metastasize to other nearby and distant parts of the body like the bladder, vagina, lungs, rectum, and liver.
What are the various treatment options for cervical cancer?
There are several treatment options for cervical cancer that are considered to be a part of the standard treatment and care for people with the condition. Standard care refers to the best possible treatment for the disease, and often, a team of doctors works together on a treatment plan that combines various methods of bringing the symptoms under control. This team can consist of oncologists, physicians, pharmacists, and dieticians.
The various treatment options for cervical cancer include:
This treatment option involves surgically removing the cancerous tumor, along with some adjoining healthy tissue. This surgery for cancer treatment is performed by a gynecologic oncologist, a doctor who specializes in performing surgeries to treat gynecologic cancer. If cervical cancer is still limited to the cervix, any one of the following procedures can be used to treat it:
This procedure is the same as a cone biopsy and is used to remove abnormal tissues from the body. It can be used to treat cervical cancer only if the tumor can be seen with the help of a microscope, in which case it is known as microinvasive cancer.
In this procedure, an electrical current is passed through a wired hook, and the cancerous tissue can be removed with the hook. This procedure can only be used in cases of microinvasive cancer.
This is a surgical procedure done to remove the cervix and the uterus. The procedure can be radical or simple. In a simple hysterectomy, only the cervix and the uterus are removed. In a radical hysterectomy, the upper vagina and the tissue surrounding the cervix are also removed in addition to the cervix and the uterus.
Another effective treatment option for cervical cancer, radiation therapy uses x-rays of high energy to kill cancerous cells in the body. A radiation oncologist gives the treatment. This can be a standalone treatment, or it can be used before or instead of surgery to reduce the size of the tumor. The common radiation therapy used is known as external-beam radiation therapy. In this treatment, radiation is given using a machine. On the other hand, it is referred to as internal radiation therapy if the radiation is given while using implants.
Chemotherapy and immunotherapy are also a part of the treatment plan to fight cervical cancer.