For cervical cancer, there are certain factors that predict high risk of recurrence after a surgical resection. Studies have shown that addition of radiation therapy (and in some cases concurrent chemotherapy) would significantly reduce risk of recurrence. These high risk factors include positive surgical margins, parametrial involvement, deep stromal invasion, lymphovascular invasion, tumors larger than Continue Reading
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For cervical cancer, when is an organ preserving approach possible where only radiation treatment is needed?
In practice of oncology, preserving an organ has either served a cosmetic reason or a functional one. For example breast conservation has merely served a cosmetic purpose but limb preservation in treatment of sarcomas, has served the purpose of preserving the function of a limb. When it comes to preserving the cervix, it’s preservation has Continue Reading
How is it determined if external or internal radiation therapy should be used to treat cervical cancer? Or both?
In treatment of cervical cancer, unless the tumor has been surgically removed and the radiation is given postoperatively, internal radiation is always a crucial part of the treatment. The reason for that is that with external radiation alone we would not be able to deliver the required doses of radiation to the tumor at the Continue Reading
Traditionally external radiation for treating cervical cancer was given with four-field technique. That is radiation beams were directed from anterior, posterior, right and left lateral directions. This technique did not spare any of organs inside the pelvis. With the invention of CAT scans, three-dimensional radiation therapy was developed. This technology was a CT-based radiation planning Continue Reading
For treating cervical cancer, often a combination of external and internal radiation therapy is utilized. For internal radiation special brachytherapy applicators called Tandem and Ovoid are used. Tandem is an applicator which is inserted through the cervical os into the uterus. Ovoids are a pair of applicators which are placed in the vaginal fornices, one Continue Reading
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