Case of Cervical Carcinoma Complicated by Genital Prolapse: A report
Cervical squamous cell carcinoma and pelvic organ prolapse (POP) are individually considered common events in women of advanced age. However, the concurrence of complete uterine procidentia and cervical cancer is scarcely encountered, mainly in elderly women from low-income countries. In most of these cases, however, the pathophysiologic association of these entities was discussed,...
Cervical squamous cell carcinoma and pelvic organ prolapse (POP) are individually considered common events in women of advanced age. However, the concurrence of complete uterine procidentia and cervical cancer is scarcely encountered, mainly in elderly women from low-income countries. In most of these cases, however, the pathophysiologic association of these entities was discussed, mainly focusing on modes of treatment. Aikaterini-Eirini Evangelopoulou and team presented a unique case of a woman with a history of uterine prolapse who developed a huge malignant cervical tumor which led to an irreducible genital prolapse.
An 81-year-old Caucasian woman gravida 2, para 2 presented to outpatient department with new-onset vaginal bleeding and gradually worsening uterine prolapse for the past three months. She had a documented history of uterine prolapse for the past 15 years. The patient also described difficulty in passing urine for the last 5 years and worsening local pain. Her renal function was affected, and a urine catheter was inserted. She also reported well-controlled arterial hypertension and asthma.
The physical examination revealed uterine procidentia with an ulcerated lesion located on the posterior wall of the ectocervix. Τhe prolapsed uterus was irreducible, and attempts to manually reduce the prolapse were unsuccessful. Informed consent was obtained, and patient was transferred to theater for manual reduction of the prolapsed uterus under general anesthesia. The cervix was biopsied prior to the procedure.
Initial attempts failed to restore the uterus to its original position. Applying controlled pressure to the bulky part of the prolapsed uterus along with careful pushing of the cervix facilitate the replacement of the uterus into the vagina. A large vaginal swab was used to refrain the uterus from displacement. The histopathology report revealed a squamous cell carcinoma of the cervix.
Pretreatment clinical staging tests including chest X-ray, ultrasound, and contrast-enhanced computed tomography scan of the abdomen were performed. Significant findings were a 16 cm enlarged uterus and mild to moderate unilateral hydroureteronephrosis, secondary to periureteric infiltration, clinical stage IIIB. Her chest X-ray did not show any abnormal features. Cystoscopy and proctoscopy were also performed for staging with no evidence of bladder or rectal invasion.
The patient was disqualified from surgery due to the severity of the disease (FIGO Stage IIIB). Palliative chemotherapy with cisplatin plus radiotherapy was recommended, but the patient's general condition was rapidly deteriorated, manifested by cachexia, anorexia, and pelvic pain; thus, treatment was postponed. Three months after the diagnosis, a telephone follow-up took place. Authors were informed that end-life care measures, regarding her comfort, were performed by an in-home nurse.
POP can cause symptoms such as sensation of pelvic pressure, bladder and bowel dysfunction, bulging through the introitus, and dyspareunia. A common complication of procidentia is the ulceration of the most dependent area of the prolapse. A biopsy is warranted in any ulcerated lesion in order to exclude malignancy. Although our patient reported new-onset vaginal bleeding, the size of the malignant lesion indicated that the 81-yearold woman had probably overlook her symptoms (including bleeding) for a long period of time.
Although cervical cancer and prolapse are common diseases, the coincidence of both of them is rare and occurs in women between 60 and 80 years old where the procidentia exists for 10 years or more. On the other hand, cervical carcinoma peaks in the 5th decade of women's life. The different age distributions can explain, in part, the rarity of concurrence in which both entities coexist. This patient reported the presence of uterine prolapse for over 15 years with new-onset vaginal bleeding. Whether screening for cervical cancer should be prolonged in patients with uterine procidentia is a question yet to be answered.
Management of patients with POP complicated with cervical cancer should be multidisciplinary due to concomitant diseases and involve medical subspecialists such as gynecologic oncologist, urogynecologist, and radiation oncologist. In this case, authors had to manage the impaired renal function and also facilitate the staging of the disease by restoring the affected organ to its original position. Reduction of the prolapse facilitated the radiotherapy treatment and minimized the risk of visceral injury due to radiation.
The curative principle of cervical cancer including radical surgery with vaginal hysterectomy and adjuvant radiotherapy or radiotherapy for early stages and chemoradiotherapy for locally advanced cancer is acceptable in cases where cancer coexists with prolapse. Most authors indicate radical vaginal hysterectomy with bilateral iliopelvic lymphadenectomy complemented with external pelvic irradiation and chemotherapy. It is understood that the treatment strategy should be based on the clinical stage of the disease, the presence of metastatic disease, and patient's performance status.
The concurrence of advanced cervical carcinoma and POP is rare and usually affects elderly women. Staging and treatment plan of cervical cancer is hampered by the anatomic dislocation of the affected organ. The primary concern in this patient was the restoration of kidney function and the palliative care at a later stage. The best therapeutic approach in such cases is yet to be determined. Needless to say, that a multidisciplinary management is mandatory. Reducing the prolapse in order to allow radiation therapy is a viable option in a patient with stage IIIB cervical cancer who is disqualified from surgery due to the severity of the disease.
Source: Aikaterini-Eirini Evangelopoulou , Konstantinos Zacharis , Konstantina Balafa; Hindawi Case Reports in Obstetrics and Gynecology Volume 2021
MBBS, MD Obstetrics and Gynecology
Dr Nirali Kapoor has completed her MBBS from GMC Jamnagar and MD Obstetrics and Gynecology from AIIMS Rishikesh. She underwent training in trauma/emergency medicine non academic residency in AIIMS Delhi for an year after her MBBS. Post her MD, she has joined in a Multispeciality hospital in Amritsar. She is actively involved in cases concerning fetal medicine, infertility and minimal invasive procedures as well as research activities involved around the fields of interest.