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Cervix Cancer / Cervical Cancer

Cervix Cancer / Cervical Cancer - Treatments

Treatment for cervical cancer depends on several factors, such as staging of the cancer, other existing health problems and individual preferences. 

Surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, or a combination of the three may be recommended by your doctor. 

Surgery will be recommended to you if you have 
  1. Early stage cervical cancer where the cancer cells are localised in a small area of the cervix The procedure may be either a simple hysterectomy (removal of the womb and cervix) or radical hysterectomy (removal of the womb, cervix and surrounding tissues) or a trachelectomy (removal of the cervix alone), depending on the stage of the cancer, your age and fertility wishes. 
  2. Beyond early stage
    Surgery is not an option and your doctor will recommend either chemotherapy, radiotherapy or a combination of both.

    For younger women with cervical cancer, ovarian transposition may be recommended. This procedure serves the purpose to preserve the ovarian function such as reproductive or hormonal maintenance. This is to move the ovaries from the pelvis to the upper abdomen region to prevent radiation effects to the ovaries. This surgery can be done as minimally invasive surgery to allow for enhanced recovery for patients. If a woman wishes to have a baby after this procedure, they would have to do so via In-vito fertilisation (IVF) and surrogacy. 
  3. Recurrent cervical cancer
    In cases where cancer is resistant to chemotherapy and or radiotherapy or there is localised recurrence in the pelvis, your doctor may recommend for total pelvic exenteration (removal of reproductive organs, bowel, bladder and urethra) in which requires permanent stoma bags for the urine and stools. 

Radiotherapy treats cancer by using high energy rays to destroy the cancer cells without harming the normal cells as much as possible. It can be given externally, internally or a combination of the two. Radiotherapy can also be used after surgery if there is high risk of cancer recurring. It can also be used in combination with chemotherapy. 

Advanced stage cancer 
Advanced cervical cancers are cancers that have spread beyond the cervix region. Treatment involves one of the following: 
- Chemotherapy 
- Radiotherapy 
- Combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy 

Chemotherapy uses anti-cancer drugs to destroy cancer cells. It can be used in combination with radiotherapy to improve the effectiveness of the treatment for better cure rates. Chemotherapy is used to shrink, control, and relieve symptoms to prolong good quality of life. It may also be used if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body or when the disease has recurred after radiotherapy treatment. 

Targeted therapy
Targeted drug treatments focus on specific targets present within or on cancer cells. By targeting these markers on cells, targeted drug treatments work in combination with chemotherapy to better destroy cancer cells. Your doctor will advise you regarding the suitability of use of targeted therapy in your care. 

Immunotherapy is a drug treatment that helps your immune system fight cancer. Cancer cells can sometimes evade the immune system. Immunotherapy drugs work by improving the process by which the immune system fights the cancer cells. Immunotherapy may be considered an option either alone or in combination with chemotherapy or other treatments in your care. Your doctor will advise you on the suitability of immunotherapy in your care.