|TYPES CAUSES SYMPTOMS DIAGNOSIS STAGES TREATMENT|
If the tumor has spread more than a small amount beyond the cervix, and it is unlikely that surgery alone can treat it, radiotherapy is the usual treatment. Radiation therapy uses x-rays or other high-energy particles to kill cancer cells. Radiotherapy may also be used after surgery to prevent recurrence.
Treatment is concentrated on a specific area. Radiation may be used alone or after surgery. Patient may receive both internal and external radiation.
The most common type of radiation is called external-beam radiation, which is radiation given from a machine outside the body. Treatment is usually given five days a week for about six weeks.
Radiation therapy has been used with great success in early-stage cervix cancer. Five-year cure rates for women with stage IB or IIA with radiation therapy are 85- 90%. Stages IIB, III, and IVA are best treated with radiation therapy combined with chemotherapy. The 5-year survival rate for stage IIB is 60- 65%. The 5-year survival rates for stage III ranges from 25- 40%. For stage IV, 5-year survival rates are in the 15- 20% range.
In other cases a device that gives off radiation is inserted into the vagina, so the radiation is closer to the area requiring treatment. Side effects depend on the treatment dosage, area, and type of radiation. Common side effects may include hair loss, nausea, tiredness, diarrhoea, and dysuria.
Chemotherapy, the use of drugs to kill cancer cells. The chemotherapy can be to destroy cancer remaining after surgery, slow the tumor's growth, or reduce symptoms. This is sometimes used before radiotherapy or surgery and may be used after surgery to ensure no cancer cells are let, and can control symptoms if cancer comes back after an initial treatment.
It is usually given as a series of injections into a vein. Since chemotherapy drugs affect normal cells as well as cancer cells, many people experience side effects from treatment. Side effects depend on the drug used and the dosage amount. Some general side effects include nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, fatigue, low blood count, bleeding, headaches, hair loss, a burning sensation on passing urine, and early menopause. Side effects usually go away when treatment is complete.
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