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Cervical Cancer Chemotherapy  

Cervical cancer chemotherapy is an important type of treatment whose ultimate objective is to destroy cancer cells which have originated or spread to the cervix.  This type of therapy involves the use of special medications which are injected into the body.  We will discuss some specifics of treatment, benefits, and some side effects to be aware of. 

Cervical cancer is a type of cancer which typically forms in the lining of the cervix. Once the disease has been diagnosed, there are different treatments which may be used effectively.  Surgery is commonly used to remove the tumor from the cervix.  It may also be necessary to surgically remove all or a portion of the cervix in order to ensure that the most amount of cancerous tissue has been removed. 

Cervical cancer chemotherapy may be a very good way to help ensure that any remaining cancer cells after surgery are eliminated.  It is very important to remove all the cancer cells possible to help to cut down on the risk of the cancer returning at a later time. 

Cervical cancer chemotherapy may also be used to help to shrink tumors so that they will be easier to remove and isolate surgically. 

As indicated earlier, this type of treatment entails the use of special medications which are designed to attack and kill cancer cells.  The medications may be taken orally or intravenously. 

There are a number of medications which are commonly used to treat cervical cancer through chemotherapy treatments.  They can include carboplatin; cisplatin; paclitaxel; and cyclophosphamide to name a few. 

Treatments are normally performed multiple times over a given period of time.  The effective dosage needs to be carefully controlled.  This is because these drugs not only have an effect on cancer cells but they can also affect healthy cells in the process.  This can cause a number of side effects which must be managed through careful administration of the chemotherapy medications. 

Some of the more common side effects from cervical cancer chemotherapy can include: 

  • Reduced production of blood cells. This can cause a variety of symptoms including less resistance to infection; fatigue and sluggishness; and anemia 
  • There is an increased risk of damage to the kidneys. 
  • Nausea and vomiting. This is unfortunately all too common of a side effect 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Sores in the mouth 
  • Loss of hair 

Many of these side effects may lessen or go away once treatment has stopped. This is why sometimes the treatments go on for a given period of time and then stop for a while to give the body a chance to heal and recuperate. Then they will start up again to hopefully improve the effectiveness of treatment.

 

It is very important to discuss treatment options with your doctor.  There may not be one specific treatment and you may find that you are best suited for a combination of treatments like surgery followed up by chemotherapy.  But your doctor will always try to implement the best treatment or treatments to address the threat of cervical cancer and provide the best chance for a complete recovery.

 

External Reading: cancereffects.com