Uterine cancer is often treated with a combination of treatments. The recommendation of treatment option depends on the factors such as stage and type of cancer, age, the overall health of the patient, side effects, personal preference etc. Another important consideration that goes before taking a call on the treatment option includes the research on the patient’s ability to bear a child in future. But, overall, the treatment plan includes surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, hormone therapy etc.
Surgery is often the first step towards removing the tumor and a few healthy tissues around it. Some of the common surgical procedure include hysterectomy, lymph node dissection, and sentinel lymph node biopsy.
- Hysterectomy: The extent of the cancer spread decides the type of procedure a surgeon can perform. Hysterectomy is the removal of the cervix and the uterus. For patients whose cancer has spread significantly, a surgeon performs a radical hysterectomy- removal of the vagina, cervix, uterus and some healthy tissues from the nearby region. For patients who have had menopause in their health history, doctors choose to perform a procedure known as the salpingo-oophorectomy. This involves the removal of both the ovaries and the fallopian tube.
- Lymph node dissection: This is quite similar to hysterectomy. The surgeon might remove the lymph nodes to ensure that cancer doesn’t spread beyond the uterus.
- Sentinel lymph node biopsy: This is another process to determine whether cancer has spread to the lymph nodes and the surrounding areas. This procedure is effective in determining other cancers type as well such as cancer-related to the breasts.
- Radiation Therapy: This is a kind of therapy that involves the use of high-energy rays that could destroy cancer cells. Radiation is given at a fixed dosage over a limited number of days. This method of treatment is typically used in addition to surgery. In most cases, a surgery followed by radiation therapy helps a patient to fight cancer more effectively. Many oncologists might also want a patient to take radiation therapy to shrink the size of a tumor before going for a surgery. The most common radiation therapy is external beam radiation therapy.
- Chemotherapy: This procedure involves the use of powerful drugs to destroy cancer cells. There are claims that it effectively reduces the ability of the cancer cells to grow and spread. Chemotherapy is usually suggested after surgery or can be individually applied to a cancer patient. Chemotherapy can be applied in orally or in the form of IV. The period of chemotherapy like radiotherapy is applicable for a specified amount of cycle over a limited number of days. This form of treatment is most preferred when cancer recurs in a patient after a considerable amount of time. They are equally effective in uterine cancer as well.
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