Cervical Cancer Overview

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Treating Cervical Cancer TOPICS

How is cancer of the cervix treated?

This information represents the views of the doctors and nurses serving on the American Cancer Society's Cancer Information Database Editorial Board. These views are based on their interpretation of studies published in medical journals, as well as their own professional experience.
The treatment information in this document is not official policy of the Society and is not intended as medical advice to replace the expertise and judgment of your cancer care team. It is intended to help you and your family make informed decisions, together with your doctor.
Your doctor may have reasons for suggesting a treatment plan different from these general treatment options. Don't hesitate to ask him or her questions about your treatment options.

About treatment

The treatment options for cervical cancer depend mostly on the stage of the cancer. After your cancer is staged, the doctor will tell you what choices you have. If there is anything you don't understand, ask for it to be explained. Factors other than the stage of the cancer that might have an impact on your treatment decision include your age, your overall health, and your own preferences.

Common treatments for cervical cancer include:

Some very early cervical cancers are treated with surgery alone. Most cervical cancers, though, are treated with radiation combined with chemotherapy.

It is often a good idea to get a second opinion. A second opinion can give you more information and help you feel better about the treatment plan you choose. In fact, some health plans require you to get a second opinion.

If a cure isn't likely, the goal may be to remove or destroy as much of the cancer as possible. This is to keep it from growing or spreading for as long as possible. Sometimes treatment is aimed at just relieving symptoms. This is called palliative treatment.

Last Medical Review: 10/15/2014
Last Revised: 01/07/2015