Endometrial Cancer Staging and Treatment
Staging immediately took place after the diagnosis, which occurred after a repeat D&C. A cancer’s stage determines the quantity of cancer in the body. It also aids in identifying the severity of cancer and how best to treat it.
Similar to other types of cancer, the stages for endometrial cancer range from stage 1 to stage 4. Medical practitioners all follow through both the systems of FIGO (International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics) and American Joint Committee on Cancer TNM staging to administer the staging process. Both groups classify cancer on three common factors:
- Tumor’s extent size: How much has cancer spread into the uterus? Is cancer spreading to other structures or organs?
- Spread of cancer cells to nearby lymph nodes: Has it spread to the para-aortic lymph nodes?
- Spread of cancer to distant sites (metastasis): Has it spread to distant lymph nodes or organs in other parts of the body?
In Geraldine’s case, the cancer was already at stage 3. The cancer cells had already spread outside the uterus. After staging, Geraldine underwent procedures such as:
- Radical hysterectomy
- Pelvic radiation
It took her around five to six months of chemotherapy (six sessions for every 21 days) before she was able to move forward with the next course of treatment. The last one she had was brachytherapy, which is a non-invasive outpatient procedure that required three sessions. She felt like it was the worst among the treatments, but at the same time, it only had a few side effects. After all the treatments and hair loss, her doctor declared her cancer-free in October late last year.
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