Cervical carcinoma is well treatable
Around 40 percent of all diagnoses of cervical cancer fall into early stage I – the relative survival rate has increased considerably over the last 30 years (surveys by the Robert Koch Institute). Treatment by chemotherapy or surgery is often combined with adjuvant radiation therapy for successful treatment.
4 from 10
of tumor diagnoses occur in stage I
approx. 67 %
relative survival rate after five years
approx. 50 %
lower mortality rate
Source: “Cancer in Germany”, RKI/Krebsdaten.de
Where can you have cervical cancer treated in Munich?
Cervical cancer usually develops in the lining of the uterus at the junction of the outer cervix and the vagina. Usually, the disease is caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). Taking into account the exact diagnosis, the attending physician works out an individual therapy plan together with the patient to fight the cancer.
How is cervical cancer treated?
The type of treatment for cervical cancer that is appropriate for the patient depends, among other things, on the stage of the cancer, the extent to which cancer cells have spread in the body, the person’s general health, and the risk of recurrence. It is also important to ask whether there is a desire to have children and whether one is pre-menopausal, menopausal or post-menopausal. These factors are used to decide whether surgery is an option, or whether chemotherapy, radiation therapy (or a combination of the two – radiochemotherapy) is best for the patient.
Radiation therapy is used (in combination with chemotherapy) either after surgery to reduce the risk of recurrence, if this is considered high. However, it can also be used as a primary treatment option if the cervical cancer is already advanced or has spread.
In most cases, external percutaneous radiation(teletherapy) is used at the beginning. Here, the tumor is irradiated with high-energy X-rays from the outside through the skin with pinpoint accuracy in order to spare the surrounding tissue as much as possible. After completion of teletherapy, internal radiation(brachytherapy) is often used as well. In this procedure, the radiation source, a radionuclide, is introduced via the vagina and placed as close as possible to the tumor.
The extent of the operation usually depends on the size and spread of the tumour: In the case of small tumours that are detected early, either conisation (cone-shaped excision of part of the cervix) or trachelectomy (partial removal of the cervix) is used. In both cases, pregnancy is still possible after the procedure. With hysterectomy (removal of the uterus), on the other hand, this is no longer possible. Removal is necessary if the cancer has already spread to other tissues. During exenteration, the neighboring affected organs must also be removed.
If surgery is not desired or is not sufficient for treatment, radiochemotherapy, a combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, is usually used.
The drugs used in chemotherapy(cytostatics) affect the growth of cells, reducing the spread of cancer in the body. In addition, neoadjuvant chemotherapy can be useful before surgery to shrink the tumour so that surgery becomes too feasible.
Chemotherapy is also effective in treating metastases and for relieving pain. Used in combination with radiotherapy, it can cure tumors at higher stages.
What is the treatment process in our practices?
What do you have to pay attention to during and after the treatment?
After the treatment of cervical cancer, rehabilitation and aftercare are on the patient’s agenda. These measures help women return to daily life and monitor the success of treatment. This allows relapses to be found early and treated efficiently. Please ask your attending physician about these measures.
The therapy and its consequences can affect the psyche. Removal of the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries and cervix can mean saying goodbye to a desire to have children. It is essential to discuss this topic with your doctor. He can provide you with information and addresses where you can get help from qualified contacts.
The treatment can be very stressful for many women. A healthy lifestyle is crucial for well-being and the success of the therapy: Eat a balanced diet, get enough exercise in the fresh air and please refrain from smoking and alcohol.
What are the side effects of cervical treatment?
The treatment plan is individually tailored to the patient that the cancer is treated in the best possible way. At the same time, the therapy should not be particularly stressful for the patient. Nevertheless, side effects may occur during and after the individual treatment measures.
Depending on the extent of the surgery, secondary problems such as nerve damage, pain in the abdomen, infections, bladder and bowel problems may occur here. In the case of more extensive operations (e.g. removal of the uterus), pregnancy is no longer possible.
Both chemotherapy and radiotherapy affect the hematopoietic system and the formation of hair cells and mucosal cells. Therefore, impairment of the immune system, overtiredness (fatigue), hair loss, nausea, diarrhea, or inflammation (especially in the mouth, digestive tract, and genital and excretory tracts) often occur.