- How are cervical cancers and pre-cancers treated?
- Surgery for cervical cancers and pre-cancers
- Radiation therapy for cervical cancer
- Chemotherapy for cervical cancer
- Clinical trials for cervical cancer
- Complementary and alternative therapies for cervical cancer
- Treating pre-cancers and other abnormal Pap test results
- Treatment options for cervical cancer by stage
- Financial help for cervical cancer treatment
- More treatment information
Treating pre-cancers and other abnormal Pap test results
If you have abnormal results on a colposcopy (this was discussed in the section, "How are cervical cancers and pre-cancers diagnosed?"), you may need treatment.
Abnormal areas seen on colposcopy can often be removed with a loop electrosurgical procedure (LEEP or LLETZ) or a cold knife cone biopsy (these were discussed in the section, "How are cervical cancers and pre-cancers diagnosed?"). Other options include destroying the abnormal cells with cryosurgery or laser surgery (These were discussed in the surgery section.
During cryosurgery, the doctor uses a metal probe cooled with liquid nitrogen to kill the abnormal cells by freezing them.
In laser surgery, the doctor uses a focused beam of high-energy light to vaporize (burn off) the abnormal tissue. This is done through the vagina, with local anesthesia.
Both cryosurgery and laser surgery can be done in a doctor's office or clinic. After cryosurgery, you may have a lot of watery brown discharge for a few weeks.
These treatments are almost always effective in destroying pre-cancers and preventing them from developing into true cancers. You will need follow-up exams to make sure that the abnormality does not come back. If it does, the treatments can be repeated.
Last Medical Review: 04/11/2013
Last Revised: 01/31/2014