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Surgery to address Cervical Cancer, Can Also Preserve Fertility

Radical Trachelectomy- less invasive than traditional surgery, where the cervix is ​​removed through the abdomen

 

August 4, 2016

Wikimedia Commons

This treatment -Radical Trachelectomy- is not invasive as the traditional where the cervix is ​​removed through the abdomen; instead, it consists in small incisions that reduce the recovery time of the patient, postoperative discomfort and the risk that the tumor develops again.

• In Mexico, the National Institute of Cancerology is the only institute that applies this technique

• Cervical cancer can occur anytime after 19 years old

Cervical cancer is a cancer arising from the cervix. It is due to the abnormal growth of cells that have the ability to invade or spread to other parts of the body. Early on, typically no symptoms are seen. Later symptoms may include abnormal vaginal bleeding, pelvic pain, or pain during sexual intercourse.

While bleeding after sex may not be serious, it may also indicate the presence of cervical cancer.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection appears to be involved in the development of more than 90% of cases; most women who have had HPV infections, however, do not develop cervical cancer.

Other risk factors include smoking, a weak immune system, birth control pills, starting sex at a young age, and having many sexual partners, but these are less important.

Cervical cancer typically develops from precancerous changes over 10 to 20 years. About 90% of cervical cancer cases are squamous cell carcinomas, 10% are adenocarcinoma, and a small number are other types.

Diagnosis is typically by cervical screening followed by a biopsy. Medical imaging is then done to determine whether or not the cancer has spread.

Mexico´s National Institute of Cancerology ("INCan" by its initials in Spanish)* applies successfully treatments for cervical cancer in reproductive age women, which allows them to preserve fertility.

At a press conference, the Head of the Gynecology Department of the INCan, Doctor David Isla Ortiz, noted that with early detection is possible to identify this cancer when there are minor injuries that may be curable.

This treatment -Radical Trachelectomy- is not invasive as the traditional where the cervix is ​​removed through the abdomen; instead, it consists in small incisions that reduce the recovery time of the patient, postoperative discomfort and the risk that the tumor develops again.

The Head of the Gynecology Department said that currently many women delay pregnancy until after age 30, increasing the chances that it matches with the diagnosis of cervical cancer or that the tumor develops before pregnancy. Therefore, this treatment is an option to preserve fertility.

He added that patients of reproductive age who are candidates for Radical Trachelectomy must wish to be mothers, be under 40 years old and their tumor must be smaller than two centimeters of diameter.

Doctor Isla Ortiz stressed that the National Institute of Cancerlogy is the only hospital in Mexico where Radical Laparoscopic Trachelectomy is performed. In two years, there have been five interventions of this kind in women of reproductive age, with 100 percent of success.

Other procedures that may preserve fertility are Simple Trachelectomy, Radical Vaginal Trachelectomy (RVT) and Radical Abdominal Trachelectomy. With them, in two and a half years there have been performed 74 interventions.

At the press conference, they presented the testimony of Michelle Alejandra Vargas Gaitan, a 33-year-old woman, diagnosed with cervical cancer and one of the first patients that underwent this surgery at INCan, by Radical Laparoscopic Trachelectomy. Currently, she is free of cervical cancer and plans, she said, to have two children.

Wikimedia Commons

Cervix in relation to upper part of vagina and posterior portion of uterus., showing difference in covering epithelium of inner structures.

For his part, the Deputy Director General of the National Institute of Cancerology, Doctor Angel Herrera Gomez, reported that the Popular Insurance covers all costs for that intervention.

*Mexico´s National Institute of Cancerology is located in the South of Mexico City and is a third level hospital that provides specialized medical care for cancer patients and is also a center of reference and governing body of cancer in Mexico.

This institute directs its actions of patient care for people that is not beneficiary of social security service. Provides services with efficiency, quality and warmth, with a multidisciplinary approach in diagnostic process, treatment, rehabilitation and monitoring. In addition, it is a center of medical education and investigation.

 

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