Vulvar Cancer Recurrence

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The vulvar cancer recurrence should be detected by the patients as early as possible. The cancer recurrence often takes place if the tumor has spread to the other parts of the body. The vulvar cancer usually consists of two types, the primary vulvar cancer and the secondary vulvar cancer. The primary vulvar cancer develops in the vulva itself and may spread to other parts of the body. The secondary vulvar cancer develops in parts other than the vulva. Even if the tumor appears in other parts of the body, it is not a new cancer. It is recurrence of the original cancer.

According to statastics of vulvar cancer, near about 4340 patients will be diagnosed. If the vulvar cancer is not diagnosed during its initial stages, there are chances of the cancer to spread. During diagnosis, the vulva and area around it is searched for the tumor. There are many ways used to detect vulvar cancer. They are as follows:

  • Biopsy
  • Pelvic Exam
  • Cystoscopy
  • Proctoscopy
  • X-rays
  • Intravenous pyelogram
  • CT scan
  • Magnetic resonance Imaging

After these tests are thoroughly performed, the detection of tumor is located. This helps to plan the treatment. If the cancer is in its early stage it's simple to operate. The chances of recurrence of the cancer are also less. But if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, it's difficult to operate and the chances of recurrence are also high.

The treatment of the vulvar cancer mainly depends on the site and extent of recurrence. It also depends on the type of treatment patient has received in the past and symptoms experienced due to new cancer. The treatments given to the patients with recurrence of vulvar cancer are as follows:

  • Radical Excision: Vulvar Cancer RecurrenceThis procedure is used to remove a tumor and large amount of normal tissue surrounding it. In this surgery, lymph nodes may also be removed. Radical excision may result in long term pain relief and also helps to prevent cancer recurrence.

  • Palliative Radiation Therapy: Palliative therapy can also be called as comport care. It is basically used for the cancer treatment where long term cancer control is not possible.

  • When local recurrence occurs after two years of primary treatment, a combination of surgery and radiation therapy is done. It may result in 5 year survival rate of vulva cancer. Radiation therapy is often suggested when doctors feel that surgery is not appropriate for the patient. It is used for local recurrence and to reduce symptoms of vulvar cancer.

  • After diagnosis, according to the extent of the disease, doctors may recommend the patient to have a wide local excision followed by radiation therapy. This vulver cancer therapy is often used for patients having local recurrence.

  • If the recurrence is detected in the later stages of the cancer, you may need a more extensive surgery, called pelvic exenteration. During this surgery, the cervix, vagina and the uterus are treated. If the cancer has spread to other parts like rectum, lower colon or bladder, they are treated as well.

  • Synchronous radiation and cytotoxic chemotherapy is also an option for the treatment of vulvar cancer recurrence.

  • Adjuvant therapy is also used. In this therapy, chemotherapy or radiation therapy are performed after surgery to kill any cancer cells that are left.

Treating vulvar cancer recurrence is same as treating vulvar cancer. After diagnosis, the exact stage is detected and following treatments are given:

  • Laser Therapy: In this therapy, laser beams are used to kill the cancer cells.

  • Surgery: Surgery is done to remove cancer without any loss to patient's sexual functions. There are different types of surgery performed as follows:

    • Wide local excision
    • Radical local excision
    • Vulvectomy
    • Pelvic exenteration

  • Radiation Therapy: High energy x-rays are used during this treatment. There are two types of radiation therapy, external and internal radiation therapy. They are used depending upon the stage of the cancer.

  • Chemotherapy: Drugs are used during this treatment to stop the growth of cancer cells.

Patients should not get depressed after vulvar cancer recurrence. Different therapies and treatments are available to cure the disease and give relief. New types of treatment are also invented which help cure the disease effectively.

Wish you happy and healthy life.

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