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Unusual Cancers of Childhood Treatment (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about the treatment of unusual cancers of childhood such as cancers of the head and neck, chest, abdomen, reproductive system, skin, and others.

PDQ Cancer Information Summaries [Internet] - National Cancer Institute (US).

Version: July 14, 2016

Testing for endometriosis

Endometriosis is often only diagnosed and treated late. If you are thought to have endometriosis it is important to decide what examinations are actually needed. More invasive procedures such as an examination of the inside of your abdomen (laparoscopy) are not always necessary to help decide how to best treat the symptoms, and they are associated with risks.In endometriosis, the lining of the womb (endometrium) also grows outside the womb. This endometrial tissue is benign (non-cancerous) and does not always cause noticeable pain. Endometriosis often first becomes noticeable if it causes considerable pain, if the tissue sticks together and adhesions form, or if it makes it difficult to get pregnant.Severe period pain, pain during or after sex and tenderness in parts of the pelvis are all typical signs of endometriosis.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: May 7, 2014

Treatment options for heavy periods

Women with very heavy periods (menorrhagia) have various pharmaceutical and surgical treatment options. Knowing about the advantages and disadvantages of each can help make it easier to choose an appropriate therapy.The possible treatment options and the timing of treatment will depend on whether a woman wants to have a (further) child or not. The most effective treatments all affect the ability to get pregnant – either temporarily, like the pill, or permanently, like the surgical removal of the womb (hysterectomy).There are also procedures that do not involve removing the womb. Hormonal medications are not the only pharmaceutical option. There are also non-hormonal drugs that aim to reduce menstrual bleeding and help with the associated problems. If one kind of medication is not working, it is usually possible to try out other kinds of medicines or combine them.As long as the heavy periods have not caused anemia, it is possible to deal with the “heavier” days without having any treatment.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: June 20, 2013

Care for pregnant women who have experienced genital cutting

Female genital cutting (FGC) also known as female genital mutilation (FGM) or female circumcision is when some or all of a woman's or girl's external genital organs are cut or damaged for cultural beliefs, or reasons not connected with medical treatments. It is often performed by traditional practitioners such as traditional birth attendants without any form of anaesthesia or analgesia using non‐sterile instruments. There are no known medical benefits to FGC, and it can be dangerous for the health and psychological well‐being of these women and girls, resulting in both short‐ and long‐term problems. Long‐term complications include chronic pelvic infection, formation of cysts, vaginal obstruction and infertility. Some of the greatest health problems associated with FGC and faced by most women arise during pregnancy and when giving birth. In some cases, complications from FGC can result in death.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2013

Combination of different types of tests for the non‐invasive diagnosis of endometriosis

Women with endometriosis have endometrial tissue (the tissue that lines the womb and is shed during menstruation) growing outside the womb within the pelvic cavity. This tissue responds to reproductive hormones, causing painful periods, chronic lower abdominal pain and difficulty conceiving. Currently, the only reliable way of diagnosing endometriosis is to perform keyhole surgery and visualise the endometrial deposits inside the abdomen. Because surgery is risky and expensive, combinations of various tests have been evaluated for their ability to detect endometriosis non‐invasively. An accurate test could lead to the diagnosis of endometriosis without the need for surgery or it could reduce the need for diagnostic surgery so only women who were most likely to have endometriosis would require it.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2016

Treatment options for endometriosis

Although there is currently no cure for endometriosis, various things can be done to relieve the symptoms and improve quality of life. The choice of treatment mainly depends on whether the woman would like to become pregnant.A woman’s choice of endometriosis treatment will greatly depend on her personal situation. If symptoms like pain and cramping are the main problem, many different symptom-relieving treatments can be considered. These include painkillers, hormones or surgery. Hormone treatment is not suitable for women who would like to become pregnant, though.None of the available treatments are a guaranteed cure. It often takes some time before women find a treatment that provides enough symptom relief and has side effects that are acceptable to them.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: May 7, 2014

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