If you’re newly diagnosed with cervical cancer, you may be overwhelmed and have many questions. Our goal is to provide some answers in hopes of helping you better prepare for what’s next.
Most patients receive a cervical cancer diagnosis from a gynecologist. However, a different physician, called a gynecologic oncologist, will step in for treatment planning and surgery.
A gynecologic oncologist is highly specialized in treating cancers of a woman’s reproductive organs. They also tend to be the surgeon who removes the cancerous cells.
Cervical cancer stages are typically expressed as a number that ranges from stages I (1) through IV (4). As a rule, a lower number reflects less spread, while a higher number reflects a more advanced cancer. Within each stage number, a corresponding stage letter (A, B, or C) provides additional information regarding the cervical cancer stage.
The stages of cervical cancer can be complex. Be sure to talk with your oncologist if there is something you don’t understand. Read more about how cervical cancer is staged.
The treatment of cervical cancer involves a variety of factors, including your cervical cancer type and stage, age, personal preferences, overall health, and the possible side effects. Gynecologic cancer treatment options include:
Your Compass Oncology team will evaluate your situation and recommend the most effective treatment options.
Compass Oncology’s cancer specialists participate in cervical cancer research in hopes of being able to find and provide new treatments to patients. Research trials are now available at all of our locations throughout the Portland-Vancouver area. Talk to your cervical cancer specialist to find out if a clinical trial is right for you.
At your first oncology appointment, you’ll receive a lot of information in a short period of time. Here are some useful tips on remembering what you're told and keeping track of questions you'd like to ask your cervical cancer specialist.
To help stay organized, keep a notebook to record important information. This notebook can include information such as how you’re feeling and what medicines or supplements you’re taking to any questions, thoughts, or observations you have regarding appointments and procedures. Try to put a date on everything you write down in your notebook.
If a method other than paper works better for you, such as the notes feature on your smartphone, then commit to using it regularly. Having information written down (and on hand) can help keep the lines of communication open between you and your doctors.
Your doctors will want to monitor you closely after cervical cancer treatment. It’s very important to go to all of your follow-up appointments. These visits give your doctor an opportunity to address your questions and concerns, look for treatment-related side effects, and discuss whether or not additional treatments are necessary.
Our cancer center also offers several resources for gynecologic cancer patients and survivors to assist with treatment side effects, fertility, and general support.
At Compass Oncology, we want you to be informed and feel confident about your cervical cancer diagnosis and recommended treatment plan. This is why we encourage you to get a second opinion. Our cervical cancer doctors offer many second opinions on diagnosis and treatment options. Insurance often covers second opinions; however, it’s still a good idea to contact your insurance provider directly to verify your coverage.
Watch the video below to learn about the importance of a second opinion for cancer diagnosis and treatment. The oncologists at Compass Oncology are available to discuss your test results, cancer diagnosis, and options for treatment.