Cervical cancer was one of the major killers of women in the United States until the Pap smear test was discovered. However, now the death rates have plummeted due to early diagnosis and good treatment methods. More than 90 percent of the patients recover completely upon early diagnosis. Even in advanced stages of cervical cancer, the recovery rate is pretty good which makes this disease is entirely treatable in most cases.
There are a variety of treatment options available for treating cervical cancer. However, much depends on the stage of cancer while you choose the treatment. Mentioned below are the treatment methods used for cervical cancer.
Laser Treatment And Cryosurgery
Laser surgery and cryosurgery are treatment methods that are used for treating stage 0 when the abnormal formations are located only inside the cervix and have not spread anywhere else. In cryosurgery, the technique used is that of freezing the cancerous cells and destroying them. A metal probe is used for this purpose. The probe is cooled using liquid nitrogen and placed in the area where the cancerous cells are located.
Laser surgery uses laser beams for destroying the cancer cells. Both these treatment methods give almost 100% results and cause minimal damage to the reproductive organs due to the targeted treatment used.
Conization is a method of testing and treatment when a cone shaped tissue is removed from the cervix either with a laser knife or a surgical knife. Sometimes an electrically charged thin wire too is used for cutting the tissues. The tissue is sent for testing in order to find out if the edges have cancer cells. The presence of cancer cells in the edges mean that surgery is needed for removing the cells.
At stage 1A1, conisation is the only treatment method that is followed when the cancer is only 1/8th inch deep into the cervical lining. This treatment is much favoured by women as it causes very little damage to the uterus.
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Hysterectomy involves the removal of the uterus and cervix. In simple hysterectomy, there is no removal of lymph nodes, whereas radical hysterectomy removes the entire uterus, cervix, upper vaginal area and lymph nodes. This treatment will make the woman incapable of conception.
This treatment is used for treating recurrent cervical cancer. After the radical hysterectomy is done, the vagina, bladder, rectum and a certain part of the large intestine is removed and a catheter is attached to an opening in the abdomen for removal of waste matter.
Radiation therapy is usually done in combination with other treatments. This is the common form of treatment for stages III and IV. Radiation therapy can be internal or external in nature. Internal radiation therapy is more targeted and concentrated in nature. Here radioactive capsules are inserted inside the cervix for destroying cancerous cells.
Chemotherapy is the use of powerful drugs for killing cancerous cells. Chemotherapy is always done along with radiation therapy and surgery. The disadvantage of chemotherapy is that it kills healthy cells too along with the cancerous tissues. Chemotherapy can be administered orally or intravenously.