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Cervical Cancer Treatment – An Overview

Cervical cancer is a serious type of disease that occurs in women and affects the reproductive organs. Cervix is that portion of the body that connects the uterus to the vagina. In cervical cancer there is an abnormal growth of malignant cells in this area. The main cause of this growth of cells is a sexually transmitted infection known as human papillomavirus. This condition occurs quite late in  women. Women in the age bracket 30 to 35 are at risk. This is because younger  women have much stronger  immune systems.  Cervical cancer needs to be treated at the earliest as it is a life threatening condition and can adversely affect  reproductive capacities. The earlier this disease is tracked the more the chances are of a recovery.

Regarding the treatment for cervical cancer, it generally depends on the stage of that the disease is discovered in.

Treatment methods are classified accordingly into two types – Pre invasive treatment methods and Invasive treatment methods.

Pre invasive treatment methods
In the earlier stages of the disease, the infected cells are still in the outer layer of the cervix and thus removing them become easier.

LEEP or Loop electrosurgical excision procedure – in this method electric current is passed used through a wire to remove the infected cells.
Cryosurgery – Liquid nitrogen is given to the cervix area through a probe to remove the cancerous cells.
Laser ablation - Laser rays are used to remove the defected cells.

Apart from these three the Conization, Bilateral Salpingo-Oophorectomy, Hysterectomy, The DaVinci® Robot, Cervical Cancer Vaccine

Invasive treatment methods -
Hysterectomy- in this method the cancerous cells, cervix and the uterus are removed so that the ovaries and the estrogen production remain intact. This is done in cases where the invasion is less than 3 millimeters.

Radical Hysterectomy – In cases where the invasion is more than 3 millimeters this treatment method is performed. Here the uterus, parts of the vagina and lymph nodes are extracted.

Lymphadenectomy- in this method the lymph nodes are surgically removed.

Radiation – in this method a machine called external beam radiation is used or radioactive seeds are implanted in the vagina and uterus itself. This method is generally used after surgery to reduce risks of it occurring again.  It also has some side effects like swelling, inflammation and also sometimes fatigue.

Chemotherapy – in this method toxic drugs are used to destroy the infected cells. Drugs like Cisplatin, fluorouracil are administered through injections or pills. These drugs may be used either as the sole method of treatment or in combination with radiation. This method of treatment may  have some side effects like nausea, diarrhea, vomiting and leukemia.