The results obtained with radiation therapy in inoperable malignant growth are most unsatisfactory. In the majority of instances the doomed individual suffers from excruciating pain which necessitates the almost continuous use of narcotics. The pain is due to the extension of the growth to and about adjacent nerves. This is particularly true of malignant growths in the female genitalia, notably carcinoma of the cervix of the uterus. At present, only two satisfactory ways exist in which the constant suffering may be alleviated. Both are operative procedures. One, known as cordotomy, consists of section of the anterolateral columns of the spinal cord. The other, known as sympathectomy, consists, in cases of malignant growths of the pelvis, in removal of the so-called presacral nerve or superior hypogastric plexus.
Cordotomy will relieve pain, but it is an operation that should be carried out only by one skilled in neurologic surgery. The operation requires
GREENHILL JP, SCHMITZ HE. SYMPATHECTOMY FOR INTRACTABLE PAIN IN INOPERABLE CANCER OF THE CERVIX. JAMA. 1933;101(1):26–29. doi:10.1001/jama.1933.02740260028009
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