Radiation therapy side effects of vulvar cancer

Radiation therapy is delivered by exposing cancer cells to high-energy rays or particles to destroy them. The most common method of radiation therapy is known as external beam radiation or teletherapy. With this method, a beam from a machine outside the body is focused in the area of the cancer. Treatment usually involves receiving teletherapy for five days a week for about six weeks. The side effects for this method of radiation therapy include a skin reaction like a sunburn on the outside of the skin, fat...

Side effects of vulvar cancer surgery

The consequences of curative surgery can be psychologically devastating, as vulvar surgery can result in lifelong anatomic alterations. Sexual dysfunction is common because of loss of clitoris in some clinical situations and in general because of alteration in body image. Lower extremity lymphedema (leg swelling) can occur, causing difficulty walking, pain, recurrent infections and disfigurement. Therefore, all therapy includes pretreatment counseling about sexual and physical function. If the cancer has sp...

Questions a woman may want to ask her doctor before treatment begins for vulvar cancer

Here are some questions a woman may want to ask her doctor before treatment begins: What is my diagnosis? What is the stage of the disease? What are my treatment choices? Which do you recommend for me? Why? What are the chances that the treatment will be successful? Would a clinical trial be appropriate for me? What are the risks and possible side effects of each treatment? How long will my treatment last? Will I have to change my normal activities? What is the treatment likely to cost?

Three vulvar cancer treatments

There are treatments for all patients with cancer of the vulva. Three kinds of treatment are used: Surgery (taking out the cancer in an operation) Radiation therapy (using high-dose x-rays or other high-energy rays to kill cancer cells) Chemotherapy (using drugs to kill cancer cells) A doctor may use just one method or combine methods to treat the cancer most effectively; however, surgery is the most common treatment of cancer of the vulva. The standard therapy for cancer localized to the vulva includes rad...

How will my doctor know if I have vulvar cancer?

If there are symptoms, a doctor may do certain tests to see if there is cancer, usually beginning by looking at the vulva and feeling for lumps. The doctor may then cut out a small piece of tissue (called a biopsy) from the vulva and look at it under a microscope. A patient will be given some medicine to numb the area when the biopsy is done. Some pressure may be felt, but usually with no pain. This test is often done in a doctor's office.

Age as risk factors for valvar cancer

Of women who develop vulvar cancer, three-fourths are over 50 and two-thirds are over 70. The average age at diagnosis is 65 years; however, vulvar carcinoma is becoming more common in women under 40.

What is vulvar cancer?

Cancer of the vulva, a rare kind of cancer in women, is a disease in which cancer (malignant) cells are found in the vulva. The vulva is the outer part of a woman’s vagina. The vagina is the passage between the uterus (the hollow, pear-shaped organ where a baby grows) and the outside of the body. It is also called the birth canal. Vulvar malignancies are rare and account for 3 percent to 5 percent of all female genital cancers.

Will I be able to adjust to this disease well?

Will I be able to adjust to this disease well?Each cancer survivor’s recovery is different, and a person’s adjustment after cancer treatment depends on a number of factors.Ovarian cancer can cause major life changes in its survivors.If a woman undergoes removal of the ovaries and/or uterus, she will be unable to become pregnant.Women will also begin menopause if they have not already if they receive this treatment.Chemotherapy may also cause premature menopause or infertility.It is important for women to seek support during and after cancer treatment.I...

Side effects of radiation therapy for ovarian cancer

Radiation therapy mainly causes fatigue, especially in the later weeks of treatment. Though resting is important, doctors usually advise patients to stay as active as possible. Skin in the treated area may become red, dry, tender and itchy, and there may be permanent darkening or "bronzing" in the treated area. Radiation therapy in the lower abdomen may cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or urinary discomfort. Doctors can usually suggest diet changes or medicines to ease these problems. Radiation therapy for ...

Side effects of chemotheray for ovarian cancer

With chemotherapy, side effects depend on which drugs the patient receives, as well as personal variance from patient to patient. In general, chemotherapy drugs affect rapidly dividing cells. The drugs kill cancer cells, but also affect other cells in the body, like cells in hair roots and cells that line the digestive tract. As a result, chemotherapy can cause hair loss, nausea, vomiting or mouth sores. Doctors can suggest diet changes or medication to ease these problems, and most side effects of chemothe...

Side effects of surgery for ovarian cancer

Surgery for ovarian cancer is a major operation. For several days after surgery, a woman may have difficulty emptying her bladder or having normal bowel movements. Doctors or nurses can administer medicine to relieve pain and/or prevent infection associated with ovarian cancer surgery. For a period of time after surgery, some normal activities are limited to encourage healing. Young women whose ovaries are removed begin experiencing the side effects of menopause because their body’s natural source of estrog...

What about treatment? What should I ask?

Ovarian cancer is usually treated with a combination of surgery and chemotherapy. Sometimes surgery alone is sufficent treatment. Here are some questions a woman may want to ask her doctor before treatment begins: What is the stage of the disease? What are my treatment choices? Which do you recommend for me? Why? Do I need comprehensive surgical staging? Is it likely that aggressive debulking surgery will be required? Am I an individual who may require chemotherapy prior to my definitive surgery (this is ca...

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