Cervical cancer complicating pelvic organ prolapse, and use of a pessary to restore anatomy for optimal radiation: A case report



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Gynecologic oncology reports


Cervical cancer is the most common gynecologic malignancy worldwide and the third most common gynecologic cancer in the USA. Improved screening methods such as liquid-based cytology accompanied by Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) co-testing have contributed to a declining incidence of cervical cancer. There are approximately 13,000 new cases per year in the United States, accounting for 4200 deaths (Siegel et al., 2011). Pelvic organ prolapse increases with age, obesity and parity. In the absence of bothersome urinary, gastrointestinal or pressure symptoms, patients may choose conservative management options. The index patient was a 72 year old woman with a known history of pelvic organ prolapse who had been managed by her primary physician for 7 years until she developed new-onset vaginal bleeding. One month following worsening prolapse and increased vaginal bleeding she presented to the emergency department and was evaluated. On physical examination the cervix appeared as an 8 cm exophytic fungating mass extruding from the vagina and bled easily from areas of apparent necrosis. Multiple biopsies confirmed an invasive squamous cell carcinoma. The patient underwent the insertion of a Gelhorn pessary and perineorrhaphy to reduce her procidentia, cystocele and enterocele. Chemotherapy with Cisplatin and radiation therapy in the form of brachytherapy and external beam radiation therapy were then administered with curative intent. Cervical cancer complicating a uterine procidentia in an elderly patient is a rare occurrence in the United States and requires a multidisciplinary approach involving a urogynecologist, a gynecologic oncologist and a radiation oncologist. Nonetheless, in carefully selected patients, the outcome can be successful.

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