How is pelvic cancer treated?
Treatment of pelvic cancer begins with seeking regular, routine medical care throughout your life. Regular medical care allows your healthcare provider to best evaluate your risks of developing pelvic cancer and perform routine screening measures, diagnostic testing, and other assessments as needed. These measures greatly increase the chances of detecting pelvic cancer in its earliest, most curable stage.
The goal of pelvic cancer treatment is to permanently cure the cancer or to bring about a complete remission of the disease. Remission means that there is no longer any sign of the disease in your body, although it may recur or relapse later. Pelvic cancer treatment plans use a multifaceted approach. They are individualized based on the type and stage of the disease, your age, your medical history, and any coexisting diseases or conditions.
Treatment of pelvic cancer may include a combination of the following:
- Dietary counseling to help people with cancer maintain their strength and nutritional status
- Hormone therapy
- Pain medications
- Participation in a clinical trial to test promising new therapies and treatments
- Physical therapy to help strengthen the body, increase alertness, reduce fatigue, and improve functional ability during and after cancer treatment
- Radiation therapy
- Surgery to remove any well-defined tumors or only part of the affected organ or structure
- Surgery to remove the entire organ or structure, nearby lymph nodes, and abdominal tissues as needed
Targeted molecular therapy administered for select cancers with specific gene mutations
Complementary treatments may help some people to better deal with pelvic cancer and its treatments. These treatments, sometimes referred to as alternative therapies, are used in conjunction with traditional medical treatments. They are not meant to substitute for full medical care. Complementary treatments may include:
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- Massage therapy
If pelvic cancer has progressed to an advanced stage and has become unresponsive to treatment, the goal of treatment shifts from curing the disease to helping the person with cancer live as fully and comfortably as possible. Hospice care involves medically controlling pain and other symptoms, while providing psychological and spiritual support for the patient and family.
What are the potential complications of pelvic cancer?
Complications of pelvic cancer are life threatening. Complications are caused by the metastasis or spread of the cancer to other tissues and organs, such as the lymph nodes, lungs, liver, and intestines. With time, the spread of cancer interferes with organ function and vital body processes. You can best treat pelvic cancer and lower your risk or delay the development of complications by following the treatment plan you and your healthcare team design specifically for you.
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