There are four treatment options for this early-stage tumor.
- A LEEP (Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure) is similar to a cone biopsy and is for both diagnostic and therapeutic indications. It is usually performed in the office with a local anesthesia with only rare side effects.
- A cervical cold-knife conization is performed when a LEEP is not appropriate-usually for recurrent disease or difficult anatomy.
- Laser vaporization therapy is usually done for larger lesions.
- Freezing the cervix (cryotherapy) can be performed in the doctor’s office and has a negligible complication rate.
Stage I cervical cancer
- In stage I cervical cancer, the cancer has grown deeper into the cervix, but has not spread beyond it.
The treatment of choice for stage IA1 disease is surgery.
Total hysterectomy, radical hysterectomy, and conization are accepted procedures.
Lymph node dissection is not required if the depth of invasion is less than 3 mm and no invasion into lymphatic tissue is present.
Stage II cervical cancer
Stage II cervical cancer means that the cancer has grown beyond the cervix and uterus, but has not reached the walls of the pelvis or the lower part of the vagina.
External beam radiation or a radical hysterectomy with removal of lymph nodes is followed by interstitial radiation with chemotherapy.
Women with large lesions are managed with hysterectomy, lymph node dissection or preoperative radiation therapy.
External beam radiation is applied to the pelvis or sometimes the para-aortic region after surgery for women who have metastatic disease in the lymph nodes
Treatment under Investigation
Studies have found a new radiation therapy called brachytherapy which allows for shorter treatment times in an outpatient setting. Studies are also done on hyperthermia, which uses both radiation therapy and heat
Stage III cervical cancer
Stage III cervical cancer means that the cancer has spread to the lower part of the vagina or the walls of the pelvis, but not to nearby lymph nodes or other parts of the body.
Chemotherapy along with external beam radiation followed by interstitial radiation therapy is the best treatment method to be followed
Stage IV cervical cancer
In this cervical cancer stage, the disease has spread to nearby organs or other parts of the body.
Radiation may be used to relieve the symptoms of pelvic disease or isolated distant metastases. Several chemotherapy drugs are useful for treating cervical cancer, but they are rarely curative. They include cisplatin or carboplatin. Combination chemotherapy, including cisplatin + etoposide + bleomycin, has a response rate of about 50 percent
Side effects of radiation and chemotherapy like vomiting, fatigue, diarrhea and hair loss may be observed.
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