When it comes to treating gynaecological cancer, there are a number of different treatments that are considered the standard of care. This does not necessarily mean that these are the only available options. In fact, the research, diagnosis and treatment of gynaecological cancer have become highly personalized based on genetic markers, family history and other factors unique to your diagnosis.
Each gynaecological cancer is unique, with different signs and symptoms, different risk factors and different prevention strategies. All women are at risk for different types of gynaecological cancer, and risk increases with age. A woman who is experiencing abdominal or pelvic pain should see her doctor. Symptoms may be caused by something other than gynaecological cancer, but an evaluation by a doctor is the only way to know for sure and ultimate cure. At Dharamshila Narayana Gynaecological Cancers Centre, we treat precancerous changes of the vulva, vagina and cervix, including dysplasia and carcinomas in situ; premalignant changes of the endometrium, including adenomatous hyperplasias; vulvar cancer; vaginal cancer; cervical cancer; uterine cancer; fallopian tube cancer; ovarian cancer and gestational trophoblastic disease; and soft-tissue tumors of the pelvis.
Our Gynaecological Cancer Centre offers urologic, gastrointestinal and gynaecological surgery for the management of previously untreated gynaecological cancers, including radical hysterectomies for cervical cancer, cytoreductive surgery for ovarian cancer, radical vulvectomies for vulvar cancer and total abdominal hysterectomies, bilateral salpingo-oophorectomies, and lymphadenectomies for the staging and treatment of endometrial cancers. In addition, gynaecological surgery for unusual tumors occurring in the female pelvis, such as benign and malignant soft tissue tumors, are routinely managed by the experts of our Gynaecological Cancer Centre.
Surgical options for the complications of gynaecological malignancies
Our Gynaecological Cancer Centre at Dharamshila Narayana Superspeciality Hospital provides surgical management of complications resulting from gynaecological cancers or for progressive disease that include small and large bowel resections, colostomies, fistula repairs, and repair of pelvic support for the management of patients with gynaecological malignancies.
Surgical options for recurrent gynaecological cancers
We also provide surgical management of disease that previously was not susceptible to effective surgery or whose recurrence now makes it appropriate to operate. Gynaecological surgery can include radical resection of recurrent ovarian cancer, radical hysterectomies and pelvic exenterations for recurrent cervical cancer, radical resections of pelvic and abdominal disease for recurrent endometrial cancer and surgical resection of vulvar lesions following surgery or surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy for the management of vulvar cancer.
Advanced gynaecological surgery for benign gynaecological diseases
We also provide surgical management for gynaecological cancer patients with benign gynaecological conditions, particularly those that had previously been treated surgically unsuccessfully. Such conditions include endometriosis, extensive uterine fibroids (leiomyomas), recurrent ovarian cysts, pelvic pain, and pelvis organ prolapse.
We have a full spectrum of chemotherapeutic agents useful in the management of ovarian cancer, fallopian tube cancer, uterine cancer, mesenchyme tumors of the uterus, cervical cancer, vaginal cancer, and vulvar cancer. These chemotherapeutic agents may be used either for primary treatment or treatment of recurrent disease. Our Gynaecological Cancer Centre offers chemotherapy both for previously untreated gynaecological malignancies as well as for the management of recurrent gynaecological malignancies that may have initially failed to respond to chemotherapy or other treatment modalities.
Our radiation oncology services use both brachytherapy and external beam radiation therapy for the management of a spectrum of gynaecological cancers including cervical cancer, vaginal cancer, and vulvar cancer.
There are two main types of radiation treatments, external and internal, that can be used based on the needs of the patient. External beam radiation is delivered using a linear accelerator that produces high energy x-rays. Internal radiation or brachytherapy uses radioactive seeds that are temporarily or permanently placed in the area that requires treatment. Based on their unique condition, patients may benefit from either external radiation or brachytherapy—or a combination of both.
External Beam Radiotherapy
External beam radiation therapy involves a series of daily outpatient treatments to accurately deliver radiation to the cancer. Each treatment is painless and is similar to getting an x-ray. They are often given in a series of daily sessions, each taking less than half an hour, Monday through Friday, for five to six weeks.
Brachytherapy (also called internal or intracavitary radiotherapy) involves placing radioactive sources in or next to the cancer. This is sometimes done in conjunction with external beam radiation therapy. Brachytherapy is very important in the treatment of vaginal, cervical, vulva and uterine cancers.
High-Dose-Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy: HDR brachytherapy is performed in our state-of-the-art brachytherapy suites and uses a highly radioactive source that is temporarily placed in the target area. It is left in place while it quickly delivers a high dose over the course of 10 to 15 minutes, and then removed. Several treatments are given over a period of days. This specialized type of brachytherapy concentrates the radiation in the diseased tissue and minimizes the exposure of healthy tissue.
We have a full-service colposcopy program to help diagnose premalignant and malignant reproductive diseases, and we offer laser, loop electrical excision procedure (LEEP) in selected patients, for vulvar cancer and vaginal cancer.
Thanks to recent advances in understanding the cause of cervical cancer, screening for this disease has now become more accurate and therefore more preventable.
Cervical cancer is caused by the presence and persistence of the human papilloma virus (HPV), a very common sexually transmitted disease. The combined use of HPV testing and the traditional pap test, especially in women over the age of 30 is now the new standard. Additionally, the availability of the HPV vaccine will likely reduce the number of cervical cancer cases in the future.