Cervical cancer, the fourth most common cancer in women, refers to when cancer originates in the cervix, the lowest part of the uterus. When detected early and managed effectively, cervical cancer is very treatable. When cervical cancer is diagnosed in the late stages, it can also be controlled – but it’s critical to choose a top medical center with state-of the-art treatments and experienced gynecologic oncologists. To determine the most beneficial cervical cancer treatment in Israel, expert physicians stage the cancer precisely and customize the therapy to suit each individual woman’s needs.
Custom-tailored Cervical Cancer Treatment
What is cervical cancer?
Let’s begin with a basic definition of this disease. In general, cancer starts when cells in the body grow out of control. In cervical cancer, the problematic cells comprise the lining of the cervix, which connects the uterus to the vagina (birth canal). Most of the time, cervical cancer grows very slowly, with early changes that indicate the cells are precancerous. In many women, these precancerous cells simply go away without treatment, but in others the precancerous cells turn into invasive cancer. That’s why it’s so important to choose a hospital, such as Sheba Medical Center in Israel, with advanced diagnostics and a skilled team.
How is cervical cancer diagnosed and staged?
The typical screening tests for cervical cancer are a Pap smear and/or an HPV test. However, these procedures are only done for screening purposes – not the diagnosis. If the Pap or HPV testing leads to abnormal results, then more testing is needed and colposcopy may be performed. This simple procedure allows the doctor to clearly view the cervix for signs of abnormality and to perform a cervical biopsy. If the biopsy results point to the presence of cancer or pre-cancer, you’ll likely be referred to a gynecologic oncologist for staging.
Staging involves the analysis of information from the colposcopy, biopsy, and other tests to figure out the size of the tumor, how deep it has penetrated, and if it has spread. When the doctors at Sheba Medical Center decide on the best type of cervical cancer treatment, staging is one of the most critical criteria considered.
Which Types of Cervical Cancer Treatment are Offered in Israel?
At Sheba Medical Center, the therapies most commonly recommended for cervical cancer treatment are:
- Conventional chemotherapy
- Targeted chemotherapy
- Surgery (including the latest minimally invasive approaches)
- Laser therapy
- Radiation therapy
Brachytherapy – Specialized Radiotherapy Treatment for Cervical Cancer
Brachytherapy is a cutting-edge method of irradiating cancer cells, and it is particularly effective in eradicating cervical cancer cells. By inserting small, radioactive implants near the tumor, cancer cells are destroyed by a very high, intense dose of radiation aimed precisely. Brachytherapy is associated with quick results, fewer side effects than external beam radiation, and minimal damage to surrounding healthy tissue.
Sheba Medical Center is one of only a few clinics worldwide equipped with a specialized operating room for brachytherapy – with 3D imaging equipment and high dose radiation (HDR) SMART SEED therapy. World-renowned specialists administer brachytherapy as cervical cancer treatment in Israel, such as Jacob Korach, MD, Director of the Gynecologic Oncology Department, and Shira Felder, MD, Head of the Gynecologic Oncology Service at the Radiation Oncology Department.
Natalia’s Story – Cervical Cancer Treatment
“There was only one way out – an operation.”
After treatments for cervical cancer failed in her native Moscow, Natalia turned to Sheba Medical Center to save her life. At her initial consultation, she was informed that radiotherapy treatment for cervical cancer (brachytherapy) was contraindicated because she had already received high doses of radiation. Surgery was recommended as her best remaining option. Despite Natalia’s fear and reservations, she agreed. After a lengthy rehabilitation, Natalia’s life was restored. Read her story.