Cancer studies

There are some interesting cancer studies where chemotherapy is given to shrink the tumors before a cone biopsy or trachelectomy. This gives the option to women with larger tumors to keep their fertility.

One study published in 2008 was conducted in the Czech Republic (A less radical treatment option to the fertility-sparing radical trachelectomy in patients with stage 1 cervical cancer. Gynecol Oncol 2008; 111 (2 suppl):S116-20).

Out of the 40 women in the study, 9 women had chemotherapy before surgery because their tumors were bigger than 20 mm. Then they had surgery, and 7 of them were able to have only a cone biopsy or trachelectomy. At the time the study was published, 3 of the women who had chemotherapy were pregnant.

Another study conducted in Italy also tried chemotherapy to shrink larger tumors before cone biopsy or trachelectomy.

While this idea is still experimental, I think that it's worth asking your doctor about it if you have a larger tumor that is still localized. Travel to a good oncologist/surgeon and find out all the options rather than settle for a hysterectomy.

But be aware that certain tumor types are too aggressive, and if your lymph nodes show cancer, then you probably have to have a radical hysterectomy. The idea of chemotherapy before surgery is still experimental, and doctors don't want to go too far out on a limb when your life may be at stake.

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