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Uterine-cervical cancer

diagnosis · treatment · research

What uterine cancer is

Endometrial (uterine corpus) cancer is the most common type of gynaecological tumour. The uterus is the female organ where the foetus develops in the event of pregnancy. It is made up of two different layers of tissue: the inner, very thin layer, called the endometrium; and the outer, muscular layer, called the myometrium.

Uterine cancer can develop from changes in the cells of the endometrium. It usually appears in the last few years before menopause or in the years following, and it is rare in women under 40 years of age.

Symptoms and treatment of uterine cancer

The treatment of endometrial cancer depends on the size, location and type of tumour. A multidisciplinary team made up of doctors from different specialties (gynaecology, medical oncology, radiotherapy, pathological anatomy, radiology and central laboratories) will decide, together with the patient, the best treatment strategy. In principle, the possibilities will focus on: surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and hormone therapy.

The IVO has a medical service specialising in gynaecology, which treats all oncological conditions related to the female reproductive system and covers the diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of its patients.

What cervical cancer is

Cervical cancer is the appearance and growth of tumour cells in the lower part of the uterus, which connects to the vagina. The most important cause of cervical cancer is infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection. Cancer of the cervix (cervical cancer) is less common. 

Diagnosis and treatment of uterine or cervical cancer

Its early diagnosis through screening programmes (cytology, or pap smear) has had a decisive impact on reducing mortality in first-world countries. In addition, vaccination programmes against the human papillomavirus (HPV) are helping to reduce mortality.

Treatment is surgical in initial cases (fertility-sparing surgery may be considered in select cases). In most cases, treatment consists of concomitant chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

The Importance of Early Diagnosis

Regular gynaecological check-ups help in acquiring an early diagnosis through clinical examinations, transvaginal ultrasound scans and Pap smears.

TheIVO has an Early Diagnosis Unit for Cervical Cancer where regular Pap smears are carried out for all women who request them, or by medical prescription. The aim is to detect cancer even before it causes any symptoms, facilitating its diagnosis and improving its prognosis.

The IVO has a medical service specialising in gynaecology, which treats all oncological conditions related to the female reproductive system and covers the diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of its patients.

Gynaecological Tumour Committee

The Gynaecological Tumour Committee is made up of a multidisciplinary team of expert professionals.

Gynaecology Service

The IVO gynaecology service attends to women with gynaecological cancers.

Clinical trials

The current way we have of advancing and improving cancer treatment is through what we call "clinical trials".

A clinical trial is a research study carried out on people with the aim of learning more about how the body reacts to certain treatments. These trials generally seek to find drugs that are more effective than the current best therapeutic option for patients, or that have similar efficacy but a better toxicity profile.

Bearing in mind that almost all currently available treatments are the result of clinical research, the importance of clinical trials is obvious.

The IVO has a clinical trials unit for all types of tumours and participates in phase 1-3 studies as well as other types of studies.

Living with uterine or cervical cancer

coping with the diagnosis and receiving treatment and psychological support

Whether you receive the news of an initial diagnosis of cancer or a relapse, coping with cancer can be emotionally overwhelming. Each person has their own way of coping with a uterine or cervical cancer diagnosis, but there are some recommendations that can help you through this process:

  • Maintain communication and the company of family and friends, the people closest to the patient, who can provide a support network throughout the process
  • Talk to other people who have survived cancer or who are in the same situation. There are many local and national associations and support groups. The Spanish Association Against Cancer (Asociación Española Contra el Cáncer) is perhaps the best-known one.
  • Inform yourself in order to make the best decisions about treatment and medical professionals.

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