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Cancer: Cervical & Ovarian Message Board

Cancer: Cervical & Ovarian Board Index

Hi Alix!!

I'm so sorry to hear you are going through this. My ordeal with cervical issues only began in November, but I've quickly gotten up to speed on all of this. What I'm going to suggest sounds a little radical, but please hear me out.

Have you ever heard of a trachelectomy? It removes the cervix only, and leaves everything else intact. If you are *only* at the stage where you are getting a LEEP (and I'm not making light of your situation), then I think you are probably a great candidate for a trach. **disclaimer -- I am not a doctor or medical person** It can be done vaginally and laparascopically, and will leave you able to have children (although you would obviously be a high risk pregnancy, and birth would be by C-section). I don't know if this procedure is performed in the UK, although I'm nearly certain it is; if not, I know it is done in France, Canada and the US. By having a trach and getting rid of the cervix, there is of course the chance that HPV can attack the vagina or uterus, but that is always a possibility even with a cervix.

The reason I would seriously consider this if I were you is because if they can catch this before it actually becomes invasive cancer, your possibility of being *able* to have a trach is much greater. At least here in the US, you are eligible for a trach if you are Stage Ib and lower, although some docs also put the stipulation that the tumor can be no greater than 4cm. But, and here's the but, you also have to have clean lymph nodes. If you do not yet have cancer, then you should have clean lymph nodes. If your condition progresses to the point you have invasive cancer, then a trach may not be an option if the cancer spreads to the lymph nodes.

I know there's not a lot of info on trachs, and so you know, my info comes from meeting with my oncologist as of last Thursday, 1/22. I have Stage Ib adenocarcinoma, and am in the process of making sure that I am still eligible for the trachelectomy, which I want very much. When I first started researching the procedure, I was horrified and thought oh heck no, that can't be. But, given my other options, and after learning more about the actual procedure, it's really not that bad. I prefer to think of it as a really big cone biopsy, except they take a cylindrical piece rather than a cone shaped piece. It is also much less surgery, and much less loss of body parts, than a of course there's the added benefit of retaining your fertility.

This is what my doctor explained about the healing time and such for a trachelectomy. Usually one night in the hospital, although he said you could spend two or three. Then you are pretty much unable to work, drive, et cetera for the next two or three weeks. After that, he said you can resume regular light activities, although it will be about 6-8 weeks for a full recovery, and there's to be no lifting or heavy exercise (or sex!) during that period of time. But the upside is there's no cutting of the abdominal wall and muscles, no loss of ovaries so no instant menopause, only a tiny scar from the laparascope (I always spell that wrong!!), and just generally it's an easier recovery since they're taking less out.

I know this may seem radical, but I hope the info helps. I think if you catch it now at this stage, before there is actual cancer, then you may save yourself some anguish and heartache wondering and worrying if something has spread if you ever do receive a more serious diagnosis (which obviously I hope you never do!!). I was only diagnosed with invasive cancer on 1/20, and have worried that it could have spread to the bladder, rectum, lymph nodes or worse. Thankfully my CT scan was clear, and now I'm scheduled for an MRI and a PET scan to be sure....but what I am most terrified of right now is that there is lymph node involvement, because my oncologist said if there is, then I need a hysterectomy, and I want to carry a baby of my own very badly, so obviously I don't want to go there.

I know I'm relatively new to this whole issue, having gone from my first colpo on 12/17 to my diagnosis on 1/20, but the minute I learned there may be a problem I started researching, and have done that non-stop, exploring every fertility saving option along the way. For someone like me, a trachelectomy is the only hope. I'm also lucky to have a few very close friends in the medical and oncology fields, so I've been provided with some really good info. If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to ask, and I'll try to help.

Best of luck with your procedure, and I hope this clears up for you soon!!


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