Cervical Cancer

Introduction

Cervical cancer affects the cervix in the female body and the treatment of cervical cancer depends on the stage of cancer, age, and health status of the patient and whether she wants to have children in future. Surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and a combination of the three or two of these modalities are the preferred treatment options. The surgery for cervical cancer is of five different types – conization, hysterectomy, modified radical hysterectomy, trachelectomy, and pelvic exenteration. The type of surgical treatment to be adopted is decided after a thorough examination of the patient and consultation with the doctor.


When is it performed?

The surgical procedures are performed in cases where the patient has cancer or tumor in the cervix and it poses threat to the health of the patient. Of these, hysterectomy, modified radical hysterectomy, and pelvic exenteration is not performed if the woman wants to bear children in future. The patient is screened properly before the treatment to decide the best course of treatment.


How is it performed?

The surgical procedures are performed under general anesthesia and can take an hour or more, depending on the kind of surgery being performed. The surgeon makes incisions in the belly and then removes the uterus, the affected part of the cervix, or the affected organs. After removal, the incisions are stitched. In case of radiation and chemotherapy, the treatment consists of sessions where radiations and anti-cancer drugs are administered to the patient.


Recovery

After cervical cancer surgery, the patient is discharged within three to five days, depending on the patient’s health state. Full recovery takes four to six weeks and till then the patient has to rest and follow the doctor’s instructions. Pain and swelling are normal in the operated area and goes away after some time but the patient must consult the doctor immediately if the discomfort does not go away.