Treatments for Cervical Cancer
If cervical cancer is caught early enough, surgery may be an option. Some early cancers can be treated with a cone biopsy alone, and there are ways to have fertility-sparing treatment for selected patients.
For a patient with disease confined to the cervix, most often a hysterectomy is performed. This consists of the removal of the uterus and cervix, and possibly some of the tissue to the side of the cervix or some lymph nodes. There are variations of this that can be performed based on factors such as the size and location of the cancer.
In addition to surgery, other treatments for cervical cancer can include:
Anti-cancer drugs used intravenously (through the veins), that reach all areas of your body, to kill the cancer cells. Chemotherapy is given in cycles. The cycles allow your body time to recover from the side effects that you may encounter.
External beam radiation therapy aims x-rays outside of the body, targeting the cancer. This is typically used in conjunction with chemotherapy.
This is another form of radiation, but it is internal. A device is placed inside the cervix to get as close to the cancer as possible for treatment.
Immunotherapy is used to target certain cells within your body in order to stimulate or suppress the immune system to help fight the cancer.
Some of the treatments for cervical cancer may impact your fertility; however, there are options for fertility preservation. If this is a concern for you, be sure to talk to your doctor to see what your choices are.
New treatments are consistently being developed for cervical cancer. Talk with your healthcare team about what treatment(s) is best for the type, stage, and grade of your cervical cancer. We understand that this may feel overwhelming, but we are always here to support you. You are welcome to call our Helpline anytime if you need help talking through your options.