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Female circumcision (female genital mutilation): a problem for brachytherapy in cervical cancer
  1. M. F. Manji*,
  2. I. Al Badawi,
  3. A. El Enbaby* and
  4. N. Al Bareedy
  1. *Department of Oncology, King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Center, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  2. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Center, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Dr M.F. Manji, Department of Radiation Oncology, BC Cancer Agency, Fraser Valley Centre, 13750 96th Avenue, Surrey, BC, Canada V3V 1Z2. Email: moemanji{at}shaw.ca

Abstract

Female circumcision is a traditional practice common in African countries. It involves partial or total removal of external female genitalia. It has led to many complications, in particular, the scarring of the external genitalia. The consequence is a very narrow introitus making the intracavitary brachytherapy treatment component difficult when these women develop cancer of cervix. We present two such cases from our institution. Our aim is to make the radiation and gynecological oncologists, both in developed and developing countries, aware of this practice and the problems they can encounter in the management of such cases. Intracavitary brachytherapy is an important component in the potentially curative role of radiation therapy for cervical cancer. Every effort should be made to ensure that the sequelae of genital mutilation does not deprive these women of the same standard of care as the general population.

  • brachytherapy
  • cervical cancer
  • female circumcision

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