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What Is Pelvic Cancer?

Article Details
  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 18 June 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Pelvic cancer invades the organs and structures of the pelvis, which is the cavity at the bottom of a person's trunk. Often, this type of cancer affects the patient's reproductive organs. For example, a woman with pelvic cancer may have cancer of the uterus, ovaries, cervix, or vagina; a man may have cancer of the testicles or penis. Sometimes, however, pelvic cancer does not affect the reproductive system. Instead, it may invade such tissues as the bladder, the wall of the pelvis, or the rectum.

When a person has pelvic cancer, he has cancer in an organ or tissue in the pelvic region of his body. This part of the body is a cavity that extends from the base of a person's trunk to the top of his legs. The pelvic part of the body is often described as bony but also has some of the body's most important organs. Among the organs of the pelvis are the bladder; the uterus, cervix, and vagina; the penis and testicles; the prostate; and the rectum. Unfortunately, cancer can develop in these or any other structure of the pelvis.

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There are many pelvic cancer symptoms a person can experience. A person may, for example, have lumps in the pelvic region or experience pain in the area. Sometimes the affected organs do not function as expected or a patient develops incontinence. Bleeding from the vagina, weight loss, and swollen lymph nodes are among the possible symptoms of pelvic cancer as well. A person may even suffer from nausea and vomiting when he has this disease.

The prognosis for a patient with pelvic cancer may depend upon the organs or tissues involved and the stage of cancer. Typically, cancer that is diagnosed and treated in an early stage is less likely to claim the patient's life. This is often due to the fact that early-stage cancers have yet to spread to other parts of the body, making treatment simpler and more likely to be successful. Additionally, the aggressiveness of the cancer matters; survival rates are typically higher for less aggressive types of cancerous tumors.

Treatment for pelvic cancer depends on the type of tumor, the stage of the cancer, and the patient's overall health. Surgery is often used to remove cancerous tissue or an entire organ when the cancer has invaded too much of its tissues. Chemotherapy and radiation treatments may also prove helpful for killing cancer cells.

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