This post talks about uterine cancer and how to cure it.
Uterine Cancer Treatment in India
Every cancer treatment requires the expert decision making by a multidisciplinary team. In the case of uterine cancer treatment, the team includes a surgical oncologist, a medical oncologist, a radiation oncologist, and a gynecologic oncologist.
According to the gynecological cancer statistics from the Foundation for Women’s Cancer, uterine cancer has had the most estimated cases for 2018 by far, with 63,200+ women diagnosed. This is approximately 16000 more than the other gynecological cancers combined.
Uterine cancer involves the female reproductive system. So, the patient has usual and obvious concerns about sexual function and fertility. A reproductive endocrinologist is thus consulted while making the treatment plan for the patient. It is treated by a combination of treatment modalities including:
- Surgical therapy
- Radiation therapy
- Hormonal therapy
Uterine Cancer Symptoms
Abnormal vaginal bleeding is the most common symptom of endometrial cancer. It ranges from a watery, blood-streaked flow, to a flow that contains more blood.
- Vaginal bleeding during [or] after menopause
- Unusual vaginal bleeding
- Spotting [or] discharge
Uterine Cancer Stages
Stage I: Patients diagnosed with the first stage of uterine cancer stage have cancer outside the uterus.
Stage II: At this stage, cancer has spread to the cervix.
Stage III: In the third stage, cancer that has spread to the vagina, ovaries, and lymph nodes.
Stage IV: In the fourth and final stage, cancer that has spread to the urinary bladder, rectum, or organs located far from the uterus, such as the lungs and bones.
Stage 1 Uterine Cancer Survival Rate
This type of cancer is curable with surgery for the majority of patients. They have a 5-year survival of 80-90% and a recurrence rate of only 4-8%.
Survival varies with each type of tumor and the uterine cancer stages. The earlier the uterine cancer is diagnosed, the better the outcome.
Uterine Cancer Types
There are 2 major types of uterine cancer
- Adenocarcinoma – develops from cells in the endometrium
- Sarcoma – develops in the supporting tissues of the myometrium
Surgery for Uterine Cancer
Uterine cancer surgery is usually the first line of treatment and the surgical oncologist is the most qualified person to perform the procedure. This surgery usually involves removal of the uterus along with some normal surrounding tissues. The patient is told about the side effects and complications of this surgical resection prior to the performance of the procedure.
Surgical Procedures for Uterine Cancer
There are two surgical procedures for uterine cancer. They are:
1. Hysterectomy for Uterine Cancer
Hysterectomy involves removal of the uterus and according to the stage of cancer, it can be
Simple: involves the removal of the cervix along with the uterus.
Radical: involves the removal of the uterus, cervix, some part of the vagina and also the surrounding tissues.
If the patients have had their menopause, the surgeon also performs a bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy which means both ovaries and fallopian tubes are removed. This surgery can be performed through an abdominal procedure, laparoscopically or robot-assisted surgeries are also done.
2. Lymphadenectomy for Uterine Cancer
To protect the patient from further spread of cancer, the surgeon removes the local lymph nodes and they are then sent for biopsy to check the spread.
Uterine Cancer Surgery Side effects
- As this surgery involves the female reproductive system, so the foremost concern is that the patient cannot become pregnant after the removal of the uterus. So, for patients who wish to give birth to the child, options like partial hysterectomy followed by hormonal therapy are considered.
- This surgery can result in early menopause
- Women experience pain and tiredness immediately after the surgery
- Nausea and vomiting are common
- If ovaries are also removed, then sex hormones are secreted in fewer amounts. Although adrenal glands and fat tissue secrets some
- Patient experiences hot flushes and dry vagina
Radiation Therapy for Uterine Cancer
It targets the cancer cells and these high beam radiations kill the cells. Radiation therapy may involve
- Therapy to the whole pelvis
- Vaginal brachytherapy: where therapy is given only through the vagina
It is not advisable to have sexual intercourse during therapy but sexual activity can be resumed after one week of the therapy.
Side effects include a problem with bowel movements, nausea, and vomiting. Long-term side effects include vaginal problems and bowel symptoms.
Chemotherapy for Uterine Cancer
This therapy includes the administration of drugs that can reduce the activity of cancer cells and does not let them divide. It is given in patients after surgery either along with chemotherapy or alone. Chemotherapy can be given either intravenously or through an oral route.
Hormone Therapy for Uterine Cancer
Adenocarcinomas which are in Grade 1 or II stage are usually treated by giving hormonal therapy. It is usually a high dose of progesterone given in pill form. Other alternatives used are hormone-expressing intrauterine devices (IUDs) and the aromatase inhibitors (AIs), such as anastrozole (Arimidex), letrozole (Femara), and exemestane (Aromasin).
In advanced and metastatic cancers, supportive and palliative therapy is given.
Uterine Cancer Prevention
Avoiding certain cancer risk factors may help prevent this type of cancer. As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. Lower your risk of uterine cancer by not smoking. Also, exercise and work out regularly to avoid being overweight. Stay healthy. Take care of your body and it will take care of you.
Cost of Uterine Cancer Treatment
Here is the cost of uterine cancer treatment in India:
- Cost of PET Scan is USD 200
- Any Cancer Surgery will be provided within USD 4500 – 6000
- Chemotherapy per cycle is USD 450
- Radiation Treatment is USD 2500 – 5000
Be sure to read our post on Why a PET Scan is Essential for Cancer Diagnosis.
Uterine Cancer Treatment at Treatment Possible
Due to the long-standing association, Treatment Possible ensures quality treatment at the lowest cost for our patients with cancer diagnosis and treatment. We ensure treatment through most advanced LINAC i.e. TrueBeam from the best cancer hospital in India. At the same time, our rates for uterine cancer treatment in India are the lowest.