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Cervical Cancer Treatment
MEDICAL ANIMATION TRANSCRIPT: Treatment options for cancer include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. You may receive one or a combination of these treatments depending on the size of tumor, whether it has spread, and whether or not you would like to be able to have children. You have several surgical options depending on the type and stage of the cancer. During early stage 1A, your surgeon may perform conization to remove a cone shaped piece of the cervix. One example of conization called LEEP, or loop electro surgical excision procedure, uses a thin wire heated by electricity to remove the tissue. During later stage 1A and 1B, your surgeon may perform a radical trachelectomy to preserve your uterus if you want to be able to have children later. The surgeon removes the cervix and upper part of the vagina and places a stitch at the lower end of the uterus to act as an artificial internal opening of the cervix. During early stage 1A, your surgeon may perform a total hysterectomy removing the uterus and cervix. During later stage 1A and 1B, your surgeon may perform a radical hysterectomy removing the cervix, the tissue around the cervix, the uterus, and part of the vagina. During either a total or radical hysterectomy, your surgeon may remove other tissues such as the fallopian tubes, ovaries, or lymph nodes as necessary. If the cancer recurs, your surgeon may perform pelvic exenteration, removing all the organs and tissues as in a radical hysterectomy plus the pelvic lymph nodes, bladder, vagina, rectum, and colon depending on where cancer has spread. Radiation therapy or radiotherapy uses high energy rays to kill cancer cells in the treated area only. External beam radiation therapy is directed at the cancer's location from a machine outside your body. Brachytherapy, or internal radiation therapy, is directed at the cancer's location from a device placed inside your body. Chemotherapy, a systemic treatment, uses drugs to stop the growth of the cancer cells by either killing them or inhibiting their cell division. Once the drugs enter the bloodstream, they can travel and reach cancer cells throughout the body.