Treatment of vulvar cancer in Germany
Vulvar cancer is a malignant tumor of the external part of female genital organs. This cancer takes the fourth place in gynecologic oncology after endometrial, cervical, and ovarian cancer. Disease is mainly diagnosed in the age over 65 years and is rarely met in women of reproductive age.
Vulvar cancer – Diagnostics
Vulvar cancer is a generalized name for tumors of different localization that can occur in:
- Clitoris (the most dangerous form of cancer)
- Small labia (the most favorable type of tumor)
- Large labia (the most common form of vulvar cancer; it accounts for 60% of all primary tumor localization cases)
- Bartholin’s glands (the rarest type of cancer, which comprises only 1% of the total number of cancer cases)
Term "vulvar cancer" is used in diagnostics, because all the anatomical structures of the external reproductive organs are close to each other. Tumor may sprout into the neighboring tissues making it impossible to define its primary location.
Diagnosis is established after the cytological test of a smear from the reproductive organs. It is also possible to perform a biopsy (tissue sample test) with a histological examination.
Visualization techniques are performed to evaluate the extent of pathological process spreading. These investigations help to determine tumor size and detect possible metastases:
German hospitals provide all high-tech diagnostic techniques for the vulvar cancer which allows doctor to obtain maximum information about the disease and chose the optimal treatment program.
Some women are prescribed diagnostic laparoscopy if they have advanced stages of cancer. Video endoscopy equipment is introduced into the small pelvis cavity, and the image of the organs “from the inside” is viewed on the monitor. Laparoscopy is an invasive method of research, but at the same time it is one of the most accurate ways to determine the extension of vulvar cancer, to detect metastases and to plan the scope of a surgical intervention.
Best clinics for the vulvar cancer diagnostics in Germany:
University Hospital Ulm
University Hospital Rechts der Isar Munich
University Hospital of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich (LMU)
Vulvar cancer – Treatment
Surgery is a key option to treat this type of cancer. Its scope is determined by the tumor location, prevalence and size.
If a tumor is at the first stage, surgeon will perform one of the next operations:
- Simple vulvectomy is a removal of the vulvar structures affected by the tumor process, retreating 0.5 cm from the edge of pathologically altered tissues
- Radical excision of the vulva is used for treatment of the microinvasive cancer (dissemination in the tissues is less than 5 mm) and involves significant removal of the surrounding healthy tissues
- Bilateral or unilateral (on one side) lymphadenectomy (removal of the lymph nodes) is performed, if indicated
Bilateral lymphadenectomy is performed from the second stage of cancer. Also, radiation therapy is used in the postoperative period in presence of the following indications:
- Presence of two or more micro metastases into inguinal lymph nodes (according to postoperative histological examination)
- Presence of at least one macro metastasis (more than 1 cm in diameter)
- Extracapsular tumor growth
At the third stage, radiation therapy or chemotherapy is possible before the operation to improve tumor resection. Results of treatment are analyzed by a surgeon. Oncology surgeon decides on the possibility of the intervention.
Volume of operation can be significant at the third stage. Sometimes they remove a bladder, rectum fragment or other organs, which a tumor has already affected. Doctors apply intraoperative intra-cavity gamma-therapy (irradiation) to improve treatment effectiveness.
Best clinics for the vulvar cancer treatment in Germany:
University Hospital Ulm
University Hospital Rechts der Isar Munich
Charite University Hospital Berlin
Vulvar cancer– Rehabilitation
After treatment of complex oncological diseases most patients require rehabilitation. It includes the following aspects:
- Prevention of complications that may occur as a result of treatment. It can be pneumonia, lymphostasis, thromboembolic or infectious complications.
- Restoration of general health. The elimination of the consequences after surgeries and chemotherapy is carried out. The functions of internal organs are restored with the help of various medical and rehabilitation measures.
- Restoration of occupation. A person must not just stay alive. He must have physical and intellectual capabilities, which are sufficient for employment.
- Psychological support. First of all, it is required for patients, whose occupational performance was harmed because of the disease. Patients with deterioration of appearance also will benefit from psychological help.
- Restoration of appearance. If necessary, you can use surgical and other methods in Germany to restore appearance defects caused by cancer. For example, to carry out the reconstruction of the breast.
- Social and domestic rehabilitation. A person with reduced workability is trained to act in the society and perform everyday tasks in new conditions.
In German clinics, rehabilitation is carried out in a comprehensive manner. The patients are provided with qualitative care here. Doctors' monitoring and conservative treatment allow to avoid complications, which usually happen after treatment of oncological diseases. Psychotherapy, physiotherapy and physical therapy are actively used in Germany.
Specialists in different medical spheres take part in the rehabilitation process. These are massage therapists, speech therapists, specialists in physiotherapy exercises, physiotherapists. Social and occupational therapy is carried out, as well. If necessary, people are taught how to eat properly, take care of a colostomy or urostomy, etc.
In Germany, rehabilitation is carried out with the maximum level of comfort for the patient. A person feels the results quite quickly and it improves his motivation and promotes further recovery.
Best clinics for oncological rehabilitation in Germany:
Max Grundig Clinic Buehl
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Author: Dr. Nadezhda Ivanisova
Here you can find the cost of treatment for this disease at the German University Hospitals. Leave a request and we will provide a free consultation with a doctor and will start organizing the whole treatment process.
The program includes the following:
- Issuing of an invitation for getting a visa for treatment as quick as possible
- Fixing an appointment at a time convenient for you
- Preliminary organization of a comprehensive examination and discussion of the forthcoming treatment plan
- Arranging transfer from the airport to the hospital and back to the airport
- Provision of interpreting services and services of a personal medical coordinator
- If necessary, assistance in the organization of further surgical treatment
- Provision of a medical insurance against treatment complications covering up to 200,000 euro
- Preparation and translation of medical records and recommendations from the hospital
- Assistance in the subsequent communication with your attending physician, including consultations on repeated X-ray images through the unique medical document management system E-doc