Cervical cancer is the fourth most frequent cancer that affects women. It is estimated that more than 600,000 women around the world are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year. What makes cervical cancer worst is that its symptoms can be hard to identify and by the time it is diagnosed, it has usually invaded the nearby areas. This was the case with a 60-year-old cervical cancer patient from Nigeria, Mrs. Affiong Uko Henshaw. She was diagnosed with locally advanced cervical cancer. Because of the unavailability of quality treatment back in Nigeria, her son and daughter-in-law, who are based out of UK, decided to send for cervical cancer treatment in India.
Everything About Cervical Cancer from Symptoms, Treatment to Recovery
Mrs. Affiong Uko Henshaw from Nigeria, on the right, underwent successful cervical cancer treatment in India
Mrs. Henshaw hails from Nigeria. She was diagnosed with locally advanced cervical cancer and severe kidney failure due to obstructive nephropathy. Mrs. Atim Henshaw, the patient’s daughter-in-law, got in touch with MediGence to seek help for her mother-in-law.
A representative from the Patient Care team at MediGence contacted Atim to know more about her mother-in-law’s medical condition and her chief complaints. Following the initial communication, Atim shared the medical reports of Mrs. Henshaw with the team at MediGence.
The Patient Care team analyzed the medical reports of Mrs. Henshaw and quickly realized that her condition was indeed serious and she needed immediate palliative chemotherapy for an improvement in her health. You can check her Video Testimonial below:
About Patient’s Medical Condition
The medical report prepared by a local hospital in Nigeria confirmed that Mrs. Henshaw has locally advanced cancer of the cervix. The diagnosis took place after she was admitted to the hospital reporting of post-menopausal bleeding for the last 6 months.
Additionally, she was also suffering from severe renal failure secondary to obstructive nephropathy. An ultrasound conducted in the home country revealed bilateral hydronephrosis, that is, accumulation of urine in both the kidneys due to an obstruction. This also increased the levels of Creatinine to an alarming level.
She was put on dialysis because of it. The dialysis continued to take place on an outpatient basis while the Mrs’ Henshaw’s family members were taking the decision to send her to India for medical treatment. Mrs. Henshaw also complained of severe pain in the back, which also needed to be investigated properly and just before traveling to India, she was diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in both the legs.
A biopsy of the tissue taken from the cervix back in Nigeria confirmed poorly differentiated squamous cell carcinoma. The Patient Care team at MediGence stayed in constant touch with Atim and her husband and guided them throughout to make sure that Mrs. Henshaw continues to get the basic minimum medical care that she requires by the time her travel dates are decided.
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Atim and her husband made arrangements for Mrs. Henshaw’s travel. Once the passport copy of Mrs. Henshaw was ready, they shared a copy of it along with Emem’s passport copy (Mrs. Henshaw’s daughter who stays in Nigeria).
The Patient Care team got the hospital issue a medical visa invitation letter on the same day the passport copied were sent. A medical visa invitation letter was filed and when the visa was obtained, Atim booked the tickets for both of them.
They traveled to India on July 30th. Upon arrival, Mrs, Henshaw was directly admitted to the hospital by the Patient Care team. A consultant with the senior medical oncologist at Fortis Hospital took place on the same day. Additionally, she also saw the team of nephrologists on the same day.
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Immediately after the nephrology and medical oncology team saw the patient, they ordered a few tests including a whole body PET CT scan. The PET CT scan revealed that cancer has actually spread to the lungs and both the kidneys were blocked because of it.
Additionally, she had DVT in both the legs. The team concluded that the kidney blockage restricting the flow of urine and DVT must be resolved before cancer treatment can be initiated for the patient.
Mrs. Henshaw was on antiplatelet, which actually increased the risk of bleeding if a surgery is carried out. Despite all odds, the team carefully decided to conduct percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL) and DJ stenting to bypass the blockage in the kidneys after controlling all the parameters through medications.
The surgery was successful and the nephrologists were able to bypass the passage from the kidneys to the bladder. The patient was able to pass urine into a bag directly through a catheter after the surgery. The status of the DVT also improved immediately after the surgery, followed by a decrease in the swelling.
During the investigations, it was also realized that the patient had a terrible backache because cancer had spread there as well. The biopsy conducted at this stage revealed that the patient had keratinized squamous cell carcinoma. As soon as the patient was stable after the surgery, the first cycle of chemotherapy was initiated under Dr. Mohit Aggarwal’s guidance.
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After two days of the first chemotherapy cycle, Mrs. Henshaw was discharged from the hospital. The Patient Care team managed everything from the admission till discharge and shifted her to a guest house following the discharge.
Being in a different country altogether, it was difficult for Atim and her husband to manage their mother’s logistics and to manage communication between her and the Patient Care team at MediGence. However, the team provided its full support to effectively make all the arrangements, give a clinical opinion from time-to-time, and guide them to manage things in Nigeria remotely from the UK.
When Emem and Mrs. Henshaw had submitted their medical visa application to the Indian Consulate in Lagos, Nigeria, it was told to them that it would take approximately three weeks for the visa to get approved. They immediately asked Atim to get in touch with MediGence for support with visa approvals as the health of Mrs. Henshaw was deteriorating fast.
The team at MediGence got an emergency letter issued from the Fortis Hospital and had them sent to the embassy to expedite the visa process. Also, the team directly spoke to the Indian Consulate in Lagos and the Ministry of External Affairs in India, explaining to them the criticality of the issue and why Mrs. Henshaw needs an immediate medical visa.
The Ministry of External Affairs in India gave their approval upon the team’s request and the medical visa was granted to Mrs. Henshaw the very next day.
Also, during her admission to the hospital, it was realized that her condition was much more critical than expected. Thankfully, the team of medical oncologists, urologists, and nephrologists at the hospital were quick to deduce the best treatment plan for her. All the investigations were carried out on the same day of her arrival and admission and the treatment was initiated on the very next day.
Mrs Atim Henshaw(Left), the daughter in law of the patient Mrs. Affiong Uko Henshaw(right), talks about how she underwent successful Cervical Cancer Treatment in India. Since Atim and her husband were funding the treatment of their mother, they used to make wire transfers to the hospital for treatment. The team at MediGence helped coordinate the transfers and also kept Atim informed about the running bill status so that they can make financial arrangements accordingly.
Patient’s Medical Condition (Post-treatment)
Mrs. Henshaw’s health started to improve immediately after the PCNL procedure. The swelling in her legs went down and the status of the DVT in her legs improved. Now, she started to pass urine in the bag via a catheter as the blockage had been bypassed in the procedure.
After two days of the procedure, the first chemotherapy was given to Mrs. Henshaw, following which she was discharged. The second chemotherapy will be given to her on an outpatient basis. After the second chemotherapy, she can fly back to Nigeria with chemotherapy drugs for the rest of the cycles and get it done locally in a hospital.
Right now Mrs. Henshaw and Emem are placed in a guest house close to the hospital. They are expected to fly back after two weeks.
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