Gynaecologic surgery unit
This unit is specialized in the surgical treatment of tumours that affect the female reproductive system: cancer of the ovary, endometrial cancer (uterus); cancer of the uterine cervix.
Currently, there are no diagnostic tests that allow the early detection of ovarian cancer as with mammography for breast cancer. Clinically, three symptoms have been described that do appear and persist for several weeks and are motives for medical consultation: increase in the abdominal perimeter, changes in the intestinal rhythm (diarrhoea or constipation) and appearance of heavy digestions.
The main treatment of ovarian cancer is cytoreductive surgery which is based on removal of all the tumour masses found in the abdomen: ovaries, the uterus, the pelvic and/or aortic ganglia, greater omentum, as well as all the tumour nodules of the peritoneal zone. It involves a highly complex surgery that must be performed by a specialist surgeon with experience in this type of intervention.
The endometrium is a tissue that covers the internal walls of the uterus and this is why it is called cancer of the uterus.
The majority of cases of endometrial cancer are also diagnosed in initial phases and its treatment offers a high probability of success. The most characteristic symptom is abnormal vaginal bleeding especially in menopausal women.
The treatment of endometrial cancer requires a surgical intervention in which it is necessary to remove the uterus (hysterectomy), the ovaries and, in some cases, the lymph nodes near the uterus.
A significant number of cases of endometrial cancer are diagnosed in early stages of the disease, which prevents many subsequent chemotherapy treatments. Usually, radiotherapy is administered to ensure local control of the disease.
The cervix is the lower part of the uterus and its function is to connect the uterus or womb to the vaginal area. It is the third most common type of cancer in women. Cytology is the diagnostic test used for the early detection of this type of cancer.
Unlike other cancers, cervical cancer mostly affects young women and is diagnosed with cytology, a test that can detect if abnormal cells have appeared. The development of this type of cancer is very slow and therefore cytology allows the majority of cervical cancers to be diagnosed in their earliest stages and, therefore, the probability of cure is very high. Almost all cervical cancers are caused by the human papilloma virus. This virus is transmitted through sexual intercourse and therefore, although the condom protects against the virus, most people end up getting the virus. It is important to know that the vast majority of human papillomavirus infections clear up spontaneously within one to two years without developing any cancer. Factors that increase the risk of becoming infected with the virus are:
- Having multiple sexual partners
- Not using condoms
- Having a depressed immune system
For a few years now, we have had a virus vaccine that has been shown to be effective against the types of viruses that most commonly cause cervical cancer. The vaccine prevents new infections but does not work to treat previous infections which is why vaccination is recommended before the start of sexual life.
Treatment of early stage cervical cancer involves performing a laparotomy surgery during which the uterus, ovaries, and tubes, part of the vagina, tissue (tissue adjacent to the uterus), and lymph pelvic nodes are removed. It is a complex surgery, due to the side effects it can cause (sexual dysfunction, urinary incontinence), this is why it is important to be performed by specialized surgeons.
If cervical cancer is diagnosed in advanced stages, treatment does not include surgery but is based on a combination of radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
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