Although it is an early stage of cancer, due to its metastatic potential, the treatment offered to her was extirpative surgery in the form of Wertheim hysterectomy. This is a radical surgery by definition, and this involves surgical removal of uterus along with uterine tubes and ovaries, cervix, and upper part of the vagina. Since theoretically, cancer at this stage is microinvasive with potential for spread through lymphatic circulation, radiotherapy is usually offered to cover any possible lymph node involvement surrounding these organs (Jensen et al., 2003).
In the microinvasive stage, postoperative radiotherapy or chemotherapy or both are offered to the patient as treatment. She undergoes external beam radiotherapy, which in itself has complications, with impact on general physical wellbeing of the patient. The known complications of external beam radiation therapy are bone marrow depression, fistula formation, or bowel obstruction. Among them, bone marrow depression may lead to effects on general physical health due to its all round effects on blood cell formation, leading to anemia, increased tendency for infections, and tendency for bleeding (Christman et al., 2001). These problems may be manifested in physical examination, and the assessment must include a general physical examination (Magnan and Mood 2003). Another direct adverse effect of external beam radiotherapy is skin reaction. Some patients may have other acute side effects such as irritation at the operative area, anorexia, disfigurement of the area. All of these must be assessed in this patient (Grigsby and Herzog 2001).
Cancer is a life-threatening illness and is associated with extreme suffering. The diagnosis and treatment of cancer many a times are intolerable to the patient. The knowledge about the diagnosis leads to trauma and anxiety. In most cases unawareness and misinformation are the reasons of fear, denial, guilt, and ...
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