Worldwide statistics show that cervical cancer is indeed one of the most dangerous cancers affecting women with millions losing their lives due to late detection and complications. It is also a cancer that has one of the best survival rates if diagnosed in the initial stages.
For patients who have been lucky to have an early diagnosis, there are many treatment options to choose from. Laser treatment is one method that can be undertaken for destroying the cancer cells. Discussed here are the advantages and risk factors associated with laser treatment.
Early detection is crucial for taking the benefit of laser treatment. Early detection is made possible through annual Pap smear tests and also through a pelvic examination.
Laser Treatment For Cervical Cancer
During laser treatment for cervical cancer, a laser beam is directed at the abnormal cells and the cells are destroyed through burning and vaporisation. The patient is made to lie on the bed and spread and elevate her legs. The surgeon now uses a speculum for opening the vaginal canal so that the opening of the cervix is visible. Local anaesthesia is applied before the procedure to numb the area. The laser beam is then directed through the vagina into the cervix where the abnormal cells are located.
Laser treatment is a non invasive method of treatment and is the only treatment necessary at stage zero when the abnormal cells are not yet cancerous and spreading. Once the cancer moves on to higher stages and starts metastasising laser treatment is not sufficient for destroying the abnormal cells completely.
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Benefits Of Laser Treatment
There are many benefits of diagnosing cervical cancer early and taking a laser treatment. Being a non invasive treatment, the procedure is very simple and can even be performed in a physician’s office. Since it is stage 0 of cervical cancer, getting a laser treatment done will cure more than 90 percent of the women completely.
Laser treatment being a targeted treatment method, the cancer cells are directly exposed to the beams, which helps in saving the healthy cells and preserving them without damage. This is not possible while doing a radiation treatment or chemotherapy as healthy cells too are destroyed during the process. The cervix of the woman is exposed to minimal damage during laser treatment and hence the chances of becoming sterile after the treatment are minimal as well.
Dangers And Side Effects
Though laser treatment is comparatively easy to undertake, it is definitely not without dangers. During the time of local anaesthesia which is administered for the procedure, the patient can have adverse reactions to the anaesthetics used. The recovery process after laser surgery is comparatively quick even though some women may experience discharge, pain and cramping after the procedure.
Even though laser surgery cures most of the cases of cervical cancer completely, the small percentage who is not completely cured might fall into a recurrence which is unfortunate. In such cases, the treatment with radiation therapy, chemotherapy and even surgery will have to be taken, depending on the stage of recurrence.