Malignant tumors of the cervix originate from pathologically altered cells of the cervix, which connects the uterus with the vagina. The main types are cervical flat cell cancer and adenocarcinoma. Very rarely occurs uterine sarcoma. Adenocarcinoma is the most common malignant tumor of the uterus. In most cases, cervical cancer occurs against the background of an infection of the female body with the human papillomavirus, which spreads sexually. The human papillomavirus causes precancerous changes in the cells of the cervix, which can eventually lead to cancer. Cervical cancer is growing relatively slowly. However, if it is not detected early, cancer cells can spread to other organs and tissues, including the abdomen that lining the abdomen from the inside, the liver, bladder or lungs.
Methods of treatment of tumor, cervical cancer
The choice of cervical cancer treatment method is determined by the prevalence, i.e., the stage of malignancy. The scheme of treatment at the 2nd stage of cervical cancer and at the 3rd stage (metastasis) – will already differ significantly. In this case, the following methods are used:
- Hysterectomy: includes surgical removal of the cervix and the uterus itself. Most often, such an intervention is used to treat cervical cancer in its early stages (1, 2). This radical method virtually guarantees that there will be no recurrence of cervical and uterine cancer. Lymph nodes and appendages can also be removed in the 2nd stage. However, after a hysterectomy, a woman will never get pregnant again. In the 3rd stage of body or cervical cancer, surgical treatment is no longer effective, because the tumor is widespread and excision of the uterus no longer guarantees the result, cancer may recur.
- Chemotherapy for cervical cancer. In most cases, chemotherapy is used as an auxiliary method to treat adenocarcinoma, cervical flat cell cancer, usually in combination with radiation therapy. Chemotherapy improves the results of radiotherapy, reduces the likelihood of recurrence of uterine cancer, including the formation of remote metastases, or is used to relieve symptoms in cases where surgical neoplasm cannot be removed. As a rule, chemotherapy is conducted for a long time and alternates with periods of rest from treatment.
- Radiation therapy (radiotherapy) for uterine cancer: it is carried out after surgical therapy or instead of it is considered the best method of treatment at all stages (2, 3, 4) of cervical cancer (adenocarcinoma, flat cell cancer), except the earliest (stage 1). In the treatment of malignant tumors of the uterus is prescribed external (external) radiotherapy, in which the source of radiation is outside the patient’s body. It is often combined with brachytherapy, which involves placing the radioactive source directly in or near the tumor. Combined treatment allows to bring to a small pathological area a significantly higher dose of radiation in a shorter time than it is possible with the independent prescription of external radiation therapy for uterine cancer.
If a recurrence of cancer of the uterus or its cervix with common metastases is detected, the treatment becomes much more complicated and can be reduced to only palliative prescription (pain relief and prolongation of life). Since most cases of relapse are detected in the first 3 years after treatment, it is very important to have regular preventive monitoring. In the first year after the therapy, it is desirable to observe it once a month. In the rest of the years it is already once every two months. After 3 years – on the recommendation of an oncologist.