Women with cervical cancer have many treatment options depending mainly on the size of the tumor and whether the cancer has spread, also known as staging. The treatment choice may also depend on whether you would like to become pregnant someday. Options for cervical cancer treatment may include one or a combination of the following treatment types.
Surgery is an option for women with Stage I or II cervical cancer. The surgeon removes tissue that may contain cancer cells:
With either total or radical hysterectomy, the surgeon may remove other tissues:
Radiation therapy (also called radiotherapy) is an option for women with any stage of cervical cancer. Women with early-stage cervical cancer may choose radiation therapy instead of surgery. It also may be used after surgery to destroy any cancer cells that remain in the area. Women with cancer that extends beyond the cervix may have radiation therapy and chemotherapy
Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays to kill cancer cells. It affects cells only in the treated area.
Doctors use two types of radiation therapy to treat cervical cancer. Some women receive both types:
For the treatment of cervical cancer, chemotherapy is usually combined with radiation therapy. For cancer that has spread to distant organs, chemotherapy alone may be used.
Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. The drugs for cervical cancer are usually given through a vein (intravenous). You may receive chemotherapy in a clinic, at the doctor’s office, or at home. Some women need to stay in the hospital during treatment.
Immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses our body's immune system to recognize, target, control, and eliminate certain types of cancer cells. Immunotherapy drugs help the immune system:
Gynecologic oncologists might recommend immunotherapy for patients with resistance to chemotherapy, with recurrent cervical cancer, or with cervical cancer Stage 2 or higher.
A few immunotherapies have been approved for women with cervical cancer, both in the monoclonal antibody/checkpoint inhibitor category:
If you or a loved one received a diagnosis of cervical cancer or another type of gynecologic cancer, request an appointment with one of our gynecologic oncologists at Compass Oncology. We offer second opinions on diagnosis and treatment as well as the latest treatment options including clinical trials.