Treatment Options for Cervical CancerThere are several treatment options available for women diagnosed with cervical cancer. Many treatments are standard procedure while others are being tested in clinical trial.
treatments options are considered clinical trials.
Experimental procedures are available through Clinical trials which tests different procedures to help improve current treatment options. Information about ongoing clinical trials are available from www.cancer.gov/clinicaltrials.
Patients with state 0 of cervical cancer have precancerous cells that have not moved beyond the surface cell layer of the cervix. Treatment options for stage 0 cancer is non invasive which include cryosurgery, laser surgery, loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) or cold-knife conization.
Stage 1 cancer is generally detected by an abnormal Pap smear. During stage 1, the cancer is confined to the cervix and is curable for the majority of patients. Surgery, radiation and chemotherapy are all appropriate treatment options for this stage.
There are two groups of stage 1 cancer. Patients in stage 1A have cancer cells which are visible only with the assistance of a microscope. Stage 1A is normally treated with surgery. Surgery consists of the surgical removal of the cancer cells along with a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus and cervix) or a conization procedure. Women who wish to have children in the future may opt for a conization procedure in which the doctor removes only a portion of the cervix.
Patients who do not wish to undergo surgery may choose radiation therapy. Radiation therapy can cause complications and inconvenient for many patients.
Patients in stage 1B have cancer cells which can be seen or felt during an examination. Patients with stage 1B cervical cancer have already been treated with surgery, radiation and/or chemotherapy. Treatment options for small stage 1B cervical cancer (less than 4 centimeters in size) include hysterectomy or radiation therapy. Bulky stage 1B cancers (over 4 centimeters) are treated with a combination of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.
Stage II cervical cancer is when the cancer cells spread beyond the cervix. Stage II cancer is normally treated with a combination of radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
As in stage 1, stage II is also divided into two groups. Stage IIA is when the cancer cells extend to the upper portion of the vagina. Sometimes, stage IIA patients can effectively undergo a radical hysterectomy followed by radiation therapy. Stage IIB cervical cancer has cancer cells which have infected the tissues next to the cervix called the parametria. Stage II cancer is best managed with a combination of both radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
Stage III cervical cancer exists when cancer cells have moved to the lower vagina or to the sides of the pelvis. As in stages I and II, stage III is divided into two groups. Stage IIIA cancer is where the cancerous cells have extended to the lower portion of the vagina. Stage IIIB is where it has moved to the one or both sides of the pelvis. Both stages are treated with radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
Stage IV cancer is identified when the cancerous cells have spread to other parts of the body such as the bladder, rectum, liver or lungs. There are also two groups in stage IV cervical cancer. Cancerous cells that have moved to invade organs adjacent to the cervix are identified as stage IVA. Treatment options for stage IVA is through a combination of radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Stage IVB includes invasion of distant areas such as the bones, lungs or liver. Diagnosis in stage IVB is difficult to treat and only a small minority of patients recover from this stage. Treatment options for stage IVB are aimed at controlling the symptoms and pain. Historically, patients with stage IVB cancer are considered incurable and rarely survive more than a year.
This page was last updated:
April 22, 2006It is not the intention of Cervicalcancer.org to provide specific medical advice, but rather to provide users with information to better understand their health and their diagnosed disorders. Specific medical advice will not be provided, and Cervicalcancer.org urges you to consult with a qualified physician for diagnosis and for answers to your personal questions.