The course of cervical cancer treatment recommended by a doctor will depend upon:
- The stage of the cancer.
- The shape and size of the tumor.
- A woman’s age and current state of health.
- A woman’s desire to have children in the future.
Early cervical cancer is often completely cured by removing cancerous tissue in the cervix. There are a number of surgical methods that can be used to remove cancerous tissue without damaging the cervix or removing the uterus. This will allow a woman to still have the hope of children in the future.
Surgery options for early cervical cancer include:
- LEEP: The loop electrosurgical excision procedure uses electricity to destroy and remove abnormal cancerous tissue in the cervix.
- Cryotherapy: This treatment will freeze abnormal cancerous cells in the cervix.
- Laser Therapy: Laser therapy uses laser light to burn off abnormal cervix tissue.
In more advanced cases, a hysterectomy may be recommended if cervical cancer has spread. A hysterectomy will remove the uterus but not the ovaries and is often a recommended procedure if a woman has had numerous LEEP procedures.
For very advanced cases of cervical cancer, a radical hysterectomy may be necessary. This procedure removes the uterus and surrounding tissues that include lymph nodes and the upper portion of the vagina. Another common procedure used for advanced cervical cancer is pelvic exenteration, a surgery that removes all of the organs in the pelvis, including the rectum and bladder.
Radiation therapy may also be used to treat cervical cancer that spreads beyond the pelvis or to treat recurrent cases of cervical cancer.
Cervical Cancer Treatment: Where to Begin
A woman’s doctor will recommend treatment for cervical cancer, which may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or a combination of all three methods. The type of treatment recommended will depend upon the size of the tumor found and if the cancer has spread throughout the body.
Prior to treatment, a woman will normally be referred to a specialist, such as a gynecological oncologist that specializes in female cancers.
Cervical Cancer Treatment Outcome
The outcome of cervical cancer will depend upon the stage of the cancer, the type of cancer found, and a woman’s age and current state of health. Cervical cancer that is detected early on is completely curable when treated properly.
The survival rate for cervical cancer after five years is 92% for cancer found within the cervix walls that has not yet spread outside of the cervix. This survival rate will drop drastically as the cancer spreads throughout the body.
Other complications of cervical cancer include:
- Some types of cervical cancer do not respond to treatment.
- Recurrent cervical cancer can occur after treatment.
- A treatment that preserves the uterus has a higher risk of recurrent cancer.
Surgery and radiation can cause sexual, bowel, and bladder side effects.
Cervical Cancer Prevention
As of June 2006, the FDA approved Gardasil, a vaccine that prevents HPV infection that causes most cases of cervical cancer. If the vaccine is used in early cases of cervical cancer, it can prevent the spread of the disease. Gardasil is the first vaccine available that is known to prevent cancer.
|Cancer||Causes and Risks||Symptoms||Diagnosis||Treatment|
|Endometrial Cancer||Introduction: Causes and Risk Factors||Symptoms||Diagnosis and Staging||Treatment|
|Cervical Cancer||Introduction: Causes and Risk Factors||Symptoms||Diagnosis and Staging||Treatment|
|Ovarian Cancer||Introduction: Causes and Risk Factors||Symptoms||Diagnosis and Staging||Treatment|
|Breast Cancer||Introduction: Causes and Risk Factors||Symptoms||Diagnosis and Staging||Treatment|
|Colon Cancer||Introduction: Causes and Risk Factors||Symptoms||Diagnosis and Staging||Treatment|
Source: "Cervical cancer - PubMed Health." National Center for Biotechnology Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Oct. 2011.