In the early stages of cervical cancer, surgery is a preferred treatment option. Here are more details about the procedure.
Cervical cancer is seen in the cervical cells found in the lower parts of the uterus which connect to the vagina. Different strains of the HPV (human papillomavirus), a sexually transmitted infection, have a major role to play in causing cervical cancer.
The immune system of the body usually stops the HPV virus from causing harm even after exposure. But the virus might survive for years in some people, which makes the cervical cells turn cancerous. In the early stages of the disease, surgery for cervical cancer is a preferred treatment option. Here are more details about it.
Diagnosis of cervical cancer
Screening tests, such as Pap tests and HPV DNA tests, can help in the detection of cervical cancer and pre-cancerous cells that might become cervical cancer in later stages. Doctors suggest starting the screening of cervical cancer and precancerous stages from 21 years of age.
If doctors suspect cervical cancer, they will start with an examination of the cervix. Colposcope, a specific magnifying instrument, is utilized to check for the presence of abnormal cells.
Details of surgery for cervical cancer
Typically, the early stages of cervical cancer are treated using surgery. The surgery that is best suited for the patient depends on the size of the cancer, the stages, and whether the patient wants to get pregnant in the future.
Some of the options to be considered are:
Surgical removal of cancer: For small cervical cancer, it is possible to eliminate cancer using a cone biopsy. The procedure involves taking away a cone-shaped part of cervical tissues while keeping the rest intact. It is an option that still makes it possible for the patient to get pregnant in the future.
Surgically removing the cervix through a process called trachelectomy –
The early stages of cervical cancer can be treated using a procedure called a radical trachelectomy. It involves removing the cervix and surrounding tissues. Since the uterus stays after the procedure, patients can get pregnant if they want.
Surgically removing the uterus and cervix through a process called hysterectomy –
Most of the early-stage cervical cancer is treated using radical hysterectomy. It involves the removal of the uterus, cervix, vaginal parts, and lymph nodes. It can cure the early stages of cervical cancer such that there is no recurrence. Becoming pregnant is impossible because of the removal of the uterus.
There is also a process called minimally invasive hysterectomy, wherein there are a few smaller incisions in the abdomen instead of one big incision. Patients who go through such a minimally invasive surgery usually recover faster and need to spend less time in a hospital.
However, some research papers believe minimally invasive hysterectomy to be less useful than conventional hysterectomy. It’s important to discuss the risks and benefits of the approach with a surgeon. The surgeon will take a look at your reports and assess your condition to decide on a way of treatment.