Cervical Cancer Treatments
The following describes methods for treating cervical cancer. For specific information regarding your health and treatment options, please contact your Hurley physician or medical professional.
How is cervical cancer treated?
After cervical cancer has been detected, your oncologist will advise you on the best course of treatment. Our oncologists are committed to educating patients about cervical cancer and treatment options so that, together, you and your care providers can create a plan that addresses your medical, emotional and family needs.
Extensive cancer research has resulted in numerous breakthroughs in treatment and rehabilitation. There are a number of new, effective methods that can stop and reverse the progression of cervical cancer. Hurley Medical Center’s palliative care specialists are also consulted, and can recommend medications, relaxation techniques and other methods that can help reduce pain and minimize nausea associated with aggressive treatment of cancer.
Treatment for cervical cancer may include one or more of the following:
Limited, noninvasive cancer
Treatment of cervical cancer that is confined to the outside layer of the cervix typically requires surgery to remove the abnormal area of cells. In most case, no additional treatments are needed. Procedures to remove noninvasive cancer include:
Cone biopsy (conization): the removal of a cone-shaped piece of cervical tissue where the abnormality is found
Laser surgery: a narrow beam of intense light is used to kill cancerous and precancerous cells
Loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP): a wire loop is used to pass electrical current which remove cells from the mouth of the cervix
Cryosurgery: this technique involves freezing and killing cancerous and precancerous cells
- Hysterectomy: major surgery that involves removal of the cancerous and precancerous areas, the cervix and the uterus
Cervical cancer that invades deeper than the outside layer of cells on the cervix is referred to as invasive cancer and requires more extensive treatment. Treatment for this type of cancer depends on several factors, such as the stage of the cancer, other health problems a woman may have, and her choices for treatment.
Treatment options may include:
Surgery: Surgery to remove the uterus (hysterectomy) is typically used to treat the early stages of cervical cancer. Hysterectomy can cure early-stage cervical cancers and prevent cancer from coming back, but removing the uterus means a woman cannot become pregnant.
Radiation: Radiation therapy uses high-powered energy to kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy can be given externally using external beam radiation or internally (brachytherapy) by placing devices filled with radioactive material near the cervix. Radiation therapy is as effective as surgery for early-stage cervical cancer.
- Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy uses strong anti-cancer medications to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy drugs, which can be used alone or in combination with each other, are usually injected into a vein. The drugs travel throughout the body and kill quickly growing cells, including cancer cells.