Comprehensive approach to the cervical cancer treatment in Germany
Treatment of cervical cancer in Germany is aimed at destroying the malignant neoplasms, suppressing remaining atypical cells along with sparing the reproductive potential in women of childbearing age. Diagnostic gynecology in Germany offers numerous tests for precise determining stage of the process and careful treatment planning. Considering the received data and woman’s individual aims, the therapeutic scheme is elaborated. It includes local invasive and systemic treatments that are performed in accordance with requirements of international gynecologic and oncologic protocols.
Determining stage of the disease
Regular gynecological check-ups with Pap test performing remain the most efficient measure of early diagnosis. If cervical cancer is suspected, doctor will proceed to further examinations:
- Colposcopy is the visual examination of cervix uteri with colposcope and camera. A doctor may additionally apply iodine solution or dilute acetic acid in order to recognize the atypical cells.
- Biopsy is harvesting the tissue sample for further examination. It may be performed during the colposcopy, in the form of cone-shaped biopsy or endocervical scraping. Biopsy is the most informative examination that allows making the precise diagnosis.
- MRI and CT scan are the axillary techniques that allow estimating state of the nearby internal organs. This is significant during the search of metastases.
As early stages of cervical cancer do not reveal themselves with any symptoms, it is crucial to undergo examination timely and in the good hospital. This allows determining the correct medical stage of pathology:
- Stage 0, carcinoma in situ, is the early cancer stage. Malignant cells can be found only in the superficial layer and do not invade the cervix itself.
- Stage 1 neoplasms are located inside the cervix and do not reach corpus uteri.
- Stage 2 neoplasms affect paracervical tissues and top part of the vagina.
- Stage 3 neoplasms affect lower part of the vagina and spread to the pelvic wall or perimetrium.
- Stage 4 neoplasms have distant metastases and can invade rectum or bladder.
Choosing among numerous treatment options
Patients with cervical cancer are actively involved in the treatment scheme selection. For instance, the desire to become mother in the future is always considered, as certain types of surgical resection make this impossible. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy may have the same harmful effect, so ovaries or separate eggs need to be harvested in advance, before start of the course. Treatment in Germany offers the following options.
Surgery adheres to the principle of minimal invasiveness at the early cancer stages (e.g. laser surgery or cryosurgery in carcinoma in situ) and maximal resection at the advanced stages (e.g. hysterectomy in stage 2-3 tumors). Surgeons always try to find the most beneficial ratio between removing malignant cells and preserving healthy tissues (e.g. ovaries).
Radiation therapy is performed in the form of brachytherapy and external irradiation. It may be a part of a complex therapeutic scheme or serve as the independent technique. It demonstrates peculiar efficacy in the recurrent cancer.
Chemotherapy is typically administered as the addition to the radiotherapy. Simultaneous application of both techniques mutually enhances the overall effect. Chemotherapy prevents tumor spreading and is helpful in consolidation of the surgery results.
Immunotherapy administration is mainly considered in women with advanced cervical cancer. Immune checkpoint inhibitors (e.g. pembrolizumab), are the most efficient in this pharmacological group. Another suitable therapeutic option is targeted therapy with the angiogenesis inhibitors (e.g. bevacizumab).
Paying attention to the follow-up examination
Once the active treatment phase is completed, the rehabilitation and follow-up period starts. It has multiple aims:
- Monitoring the overall health state and relapse prevention. Woman visits her treating physician each 3-4 months during the first 2 years after curative treatment performing.
- Managing treatment side effects and long-term disease symptoms. This mainly concerns women who continue taking drugs or going through the radiation therapy. Also, this aspect includes plastic surgeries for correcting pelvic organs position after removing the uterus.
- Physical rehabilitation that includes physical therapy, restoring pelvic organs function, communication with members of the cancer support groups or individual work with psychotherapist.
Careful follow-up continues for 3-5 years, after which a woman visits her physician annually.
Treatment in Germany with Booking Health
In case you want to undergo innovative and complex treatment of cervical cancer in Germany, you can make this process more convenient and safe with the assistance of Booking Health. Booking Health is the international provider of medical tourism with the authoritative certification (certificate ISO 9001:2015). Service of the company includes:
- Choosing the right hospital with specialization in gynecological oncology.
- Establishing preliminary communication with your gynecologist.
- Elaboration of the preliminary medical program and explaining its stages.
- Making the appointment, including the urgent one.
- Routine monitoring of medical program by our medical experts.
- Providing reasonable prices, without additional fees for the foreigners (saving up to 50% of total cost).
- Independent control of the final calculation and return of unspent funds.
- Communication with hospital after treatment completion, organization of follow-up procedures and distant consultations.
- Service of the highest level: booking tickets and accommodation, transfer, interpreter services.
Should you leave your treatment request on the Booking Health website and a medical advisor or patient case manager will contact you within 24 hours.