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Cervical Cancer: Treatments and Services

Depending on the stage of the cancer when it is found (size and location of the tumor), several different treatments are used for cervical cancer. Sometimes radiation and chemotherapy are given at the same time. Low levels of chemotherapy given make the cancer cells more sensitive to the radiation. The technique is called chemoradiotherapy or radiosensitization. Treatment for cervical cancer may include one or more of the following:


  • Cryosurgery - used for pre-invasive cancer; kills cancer cells by freezing them with a metal probe that has been cooled by liquid nitrogen
  • Laser Surgery - used for pre-invasive cancer; laser beams are used to burn off abnormal cells or remove tissue for further study
  • Cone Biopsy - used to preserve fertility in women with early stage cancer or to obtain a sample for further study; a cone-shaped section of tissue is taken from the cervix
  • Simple Hysterectomy - the uterus and cervix are removed either through the vagina or the abdominal wall; results in infertility
  • Radical Hysterectomy and Pelvic Lymph Node Dissection - the uterus, upper vagina and lymph nodes are removed through the vagina or the abdominal wall; results in infertility
  • Pelvic Externation - for recurrent cancer; radical hysterectomy is accompanied by removal of the bladder, vagina, rectum and part of the colon; results in infertility

Either internal (also called brachytherapy) or external radiation may be used to treat cervical cancer.

Several different drugs may also be used to treat primary or recurrent cervical cancer.



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