Our experts draw on Emory’s vast resources in surgical oncology, radiation therapy and medical oncology, to provide the newest, most effective practices and treatments for cervical cancer.
Our multidisciplinary care teams also include radiologists, pathologists, pharmacists and advanced practice nurses with expertise in cervical cancer.
The benefits of our multidisciplinary and highly experienced teams include:
- Access to doctors and surgeons who rank among the top cancer experts in the world.
- Weekly review of patient cases by the full team of experts.
- Coordinated scheduling for appointments among various specialties.
- Access to a nurse navigator to assist you throughout the treatment process.
- Access to support programs and groups for you and your caregivers.
- Availability of new treatment options within our clinical trials program.
Additional tests that may be performed include:
Colposcopy: the use of a lighted instrument to closely examine the cervix. Vinegar (acetic acid) may be swabbed on the surfaces of the cervix to be examined. The acid solution makes abnormal tissues turn white and therefore easier to see. A camera may be attached to the instrument.
Biopsy: removal of a small sample of tissue for examination by a pathologist. The procedure is typically done without anesthesia and is associated with minimal pain or bleeding. It is possible to perform the biopsy during a colposcopy.
Sometimes radiation and chemotherapy are given at the same time. Low levels of chemotherapy 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. Here at Winship, our doctors have pioneered a groin dissection technique for the removal of lymph nodes that improves recovery and lowers the risk of infection.
- Pelvic Externation - for recurrent cancer; radical hysterectomy is accompanied by removal of the bladder, vagina, rectum and part of the colon; results in infertility.
Radiation: Either internal (also called brachytherapy) or external radiation may be used to treat cervical cancer.
Chemotherapy: Several different drugs may also be used to treat primary or recurrent cervical cancer.
Targeted therapies: Winship’s most promising research in treating cervical cancer is in personalized medicine and targeted therapies. In personalized medicine, researchers identify unique characteristics of tumors that make them vulnerable to known drugs so therapy can be tailored to an individual’s cancer. In targeted therapies, investigators look for new drugs that more selectively target cancer cells with fewer side effects.
In addition to delivering the highest quality medical care, we recognize the importance of the psychological and emotional aspects of living with a cancer diagnosis and of dealing with treatment. Our supportive oncology team addresses these issues in a timely manner with additional support from counselors, nurse navigators, dietitians and social service professionals.
Your Treatment Team
- Dr. Flowers has developed management guidelines and classification for cervical disease and lower genital tract diseases. She is an expert of these diseases and pre-cancerous gynecological conditions.
- Director of Colposcopy Services, Grady Cancer Center
- (404) 778-1900
- An internationally renowned gynecologic oncologist, Dr. Ira Horowitz is the John D. Thompson Professor and Chairman of the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics at Emory University School of Medicine.
- Chief Medical Officer, Emory University Hospital
- (404) 778-1900
- Ms. Hughes works with the genitourinary and gastrointestinal patients at Winship Cancer Institute and the breast, gynecological and sarcoma patients at Emory University Hospital Midtown.
- Social Worker, Medical Oncology, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
- (404) 778-5976
- Dr. Khanna collaborates with Winship's gynecologic cancer teams to deliver top care to patients. She currently investigates the use of robotic surgery to manage ovarian, endometrial, and cervical cancers.
- Director, Pelvic Surgery Fellowship, Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Emory University School of Medicine
- (404) 778-1900
- Dr. Patel specializes in the treatment of genitourinary and gynecological malignancies as well as the use of high-dose rate brachytherapy and stereotactic body radiation therapy.
- Assistant Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine
- (404) 778-3473
- Dr. Read is a medical oncologist who cares for patients with gynecologic malignancies, brain tumors, sarcomas of soft tissue and bone and complicated skin cancers at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University.
- Associate Professor, Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine
- (404) 778-1900