About Uterine Cancer Treatment
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The treatment of uterine cancer endometrial cancer depends on the stage of the cancer. In the early stages, surgery and close follow up may be the only required management. The choice of treatment depends on the location and severity of the cancer.What are the treatment options for uterine cancer?
Surgery and histopathological staging forms the mainstay of management of endometrial or uterine cancers. Other treatment options, include chemotherapy, radiotherapy and hormonal therapy also play an important role.
What is the success rate of uterine cancer treatment?
- Surgery: Surgery involves the removal of uterus and cervix with or without the removal of ovaries and fallopian tubes. Adjacent lymph nodes may also be removed. Staging is also done during surgery in which few samples of tissue or fluid are taken and sent for examination.
- Radiotherapy: High energy radiations are used to destroy the cancer cells. Radiation may be given as external beam therapy in which radiation source is outside the body or as internal beam therapy where small source is placed inside the body near the cancer tissue. The decision to start radiotherapy depends on the extent of the cancer. Though, it is usually given in stage II, III and IV. It is treatment of choice in patients who are poor candidates for surgery.
- Chemotherapy: It is mainly used in the advanced stages of uterine cancer. Powerful drugs are used to kill the cancer cells.
- Hormonal therapy: It is also an option in uterine cancer, though it is mainly used in the advanced or metastatic stages of cancer.
Success of treatment in uterine or endometrial cancer depends on the stage and grade of the uterine cancer. Early stage of cancer has good response to surgery and chemotherapy. Survival rate with radiotherapy alone is 15-20% less than that with surgery.
Duration of procedure/surgery : A stay of 4- 5 days is required in the hospital. Further stay depends on the chemotherapy and radiotherapy cycles.
Days admitted : Usually 3-4 days of hospital stay is required for the surgery
Anesthesia : Surgery is done under general anaesthesia
Risks : Haemorrhage, Risks associated with anaesthesia, Infection, Risks due to chemotherapy such as fatigue, hair loss, anaemia, nausea, increased susceptibility to infections etc., Risks associated with radiation therapy including diarrhoea, fatigue, local skin reaction, burning and increased urination
After care : Uterine or endometrial cancer can recur hence, regular follow up is required. Any warning signs like vaginal bleeding, weight loss, decreased appetite, shortness of breath etc. need urgent attention.
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