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Saturday, July 4, 2009

Cancer Research: New surgery seen to have potential in cervical cancer

Studies have postulated that a new form of surgery called mesometrial resection (TMMR) (a more targeted surgical operation) could lead to a significant improvement in the survival rate of patients afflicted with cervical cancer. At the same time, the surgery also promised other improvements such as reduced complications, reducing damages to nerves in the pelvis (thus reducing post-surgery problems with bladder and bowel functionality), and also sparing patients of radiotherapy (link to article):

Survival rates among cervical cancer patients may be improved by as much as 20 per cent by making subtle changes to major surgery, researchers in Germany suggest. The new technique removes a specific, more defined, section which includes the fallopian tubes, uterus, and certain parts of the vagina, which the researchers said are the main areas of local tumour spread.
"Based on historical controls, TMMR without adjuvant radiation has the potential to improve survival by 15-20 per cent," the BBC quoted Hockel as saying. He conceded that it was next needed to conduct larger trials in different hospitals. "This new surgical technique seems to have the potential to help women with early-stage cervical cancer avoid some of the unpleasant long-term effects of a hysterectomy and radiotherapy," Liz Woolf, head of Cancer Research UK's patient information website CancerHelp UK, said.

The improved surgery sounds promising, since it not only improves the survival rate of this cancer, but also seems to reduce the post-surgery complications suffered by patients.

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