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How Uterine Cancer Is Treated
While hearing you have uterine cancer is frightening, the good news is that an OB-GYN can offer a variety of treatments. After receiving a firm diagnosis, you want to sit down with your physician to discuss all the options. Together, you can come up with a viable plan. The other good news is that more than any other time in history, this form of cancer is treatable.
What is uterine cancer?
In the field of medicine, doctors call this endometrial cancer. The reason is that it starts in the uterus. This is the same hollow organ in the pelvic area where fetuses develop. What happens is that uterine cancer starts in layers of cells that form the lining. If not properly treated, it can spread to other parts of the body.
What are the treatment options?
For someone with uterine cancer, an OB-GYN can offer more than one form of treatment. The decision comes down to a couple of factors. First, the doctor would consider the size of the cancer involved. Second, the patient’s preference comes into play. Overall, the physician’s goal is to provide a treatment that yields optimum results.
Surgery is often the first treatment recommended for someone with uterine cancer. In this case, a surgeon would remove the tumor along with some of the surrounding tissue. In extreme cases, the doctor may need to perform a hysterectomy. For patients who want kids but have never had them, this is a tough pill to swallow. The surgeon may also remove the lymph nodes close to the cancer using a procedure called lymphadenectomy.
2. Radiation therapy
Radiation therapy is another option used to treat uterine cancer. For this, the doctor uses high-energy X-rays as a means of destroying the cancer cells. To ensure the radiation oncologist gets everything, most patients have more than one treatment. Depending on the woman, a doctor may suggest surgery in conjunction with radiation therapy.
On a patient by patient basis, the radiation oncologist directs the X-rays toward the entire pelvic area or only to the vaginal region. For women who undergo multiple sessions of radiation, most experience nausea, fatigue, diarrhea and slight skin reactions. After stopping treatment, these issues subside.
Another possibility is chemotherapy. Instead of radiation, doctors administer a powerful drug to destroy the cancer cells. One benefit of this that the drugs go through the bloodstream where they target the uterus. Most often, patients receive the medication via IV, although pills are sometimes used. Usually, a doctor suggest chemotherapy to kill any remaining cells after the patient has surgery.
4. Hormone therapy
Some doctors suggest hormone therapy for patients with uterine cancer. For this, the therapy helps slow down the growth of cells. Keep in mind that hormone therapy is typically only used for grade 1 or 2 tumors. Women often experience aches and pains, fluid retention and weight gain. However, when catching cancer early, this often works quite well.
Take charge of your body
A diagnosis of uterine cancer does not mean you cannot beat it. If you have this form of cancer, work closely with your OB-GYN. Not only will they devise the correct approach but also help you through the journey. Fight hard and win the battle.
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Wanting to learn more about the reasons why a hysterectomy needs to be performed? When a woman needs to have her uterus removed, she will no longer menstruate, which means she can no longer get pregnant. It may be necessary to remove her fallopian tubes or ovaries during the procedure. According to Healthline, a hysterectomy…
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