There are several treatment options for cervical cancer depending on the stage (where the disease is found), how quickly it is growing, and the patient’s age and general health. Patients have time for second opinions and to talk through all of their options with their doctors and develop a treatment plan that best fits their needs.
Many patients have one or more of the following:
- This option is usually done for women with stage I or II cervical cancer. A surgeon removes tissues with cancerous cells.
Surgery options can include:
- This procedure is for women with small tumors who may want to become pregnant at some point. The cervix, part of the vagina, and pelvic lymph nodes are removed.
- The cervix and uterus are removed. Fallopian tubes and ovaries may also be removed.
- The cervix and uterus are removed, as well as some tissue around the cervix and part of the vagina. Fallopian tubes and ovaries may also be removed.
- Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays to kill cervical cancer cells. Women with early stages of cervical cancer may choose radiation in stead of surgery. It is also used after surgery to destroy remaining cancer cells.
Some people receive radiation from a large machine aimed at the pelvis. Others may receive radiation through a thin tube placed inside the vagina.
- For cervical cancer patients, chemotherapy is often combined with radiation therapy. This treatment uses drugs to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy for cervical cancer is usually given through a vein.
Patients need regular check-ups after treatment for cervical cancer. Your doctor will watch your recovery closely and check for the return of cancer. Check-ups help make sure that any changes in your health are noted and treated as needed. Check-ups may include physical exams, Pap tests, chest x-rays, and other procedures. Between scheduled visits, you should contact the doctor right away if you have any health problems.
Social networking and online support groups are important tools. Reaching out to others who have or have had similar experiences can provide you with valuable insights. Check out Cancer Support Community's The Living Room
for more information on clinically facilitated support online.