Treatments for Cervical Cancer
Treatments for cervical cancer will vary depending on the patient’s unique diagnosis. Patients should consult with their cancer care team to choose a treatment plan, because age, overall health, medical history, disease stage, and preferences will be taken into consideration.
It is also important to understand the possible risks and side effects of each treatment. Treatment options for cervical cancer include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, and clinical trials.
Treatments for Cervical Cancer by Disease Stage
The most important factor for selecting cervical cancer treatment is disease stage. Another important factor is if the patient wants to keep their fertility post-treatment. Here are the treatment options for each stage of cervical cancer:
Treatment at Stage IA1 for women who want to maintain their fertility is to have a cone biopsy, where the doctor removes a cone-shaped piece of tissue from the cervix. After the cone biopsy has been taken, if there are cancer cells on the edge of the biopsy, then another cone biopsy or a radical trachelectomy will be performed. This is where the uterus along with tissues next to the uterus, the cervix, and upper part of the vagina next to the cervix are removed. Additionally, if the cancer has grown into the blood of lymph vessels, then the patient will have the option to have a cone biopsy as well as removal of pelvic lymph nodes.
Treatment at Stage IA1 for women who do not care to maintain their fertility is to have a simple hysterectomy if the cancer has not spread to the blood cells and lymph nodes. If the cancer has spread, another cone biopsy or radical hysterectomy with pelvic lymph node removal is another option. In some cases, no surgery is done, and beam radiation followed by brachytherapy is an option.
Treatment for Stage IA2 for women who want to maintain fertility includes: a cone biopsy with pelvic lymph node dissection, or radical trachelectomy with pelvic lymph node dissection.
Treatment for Stage IA2 for women who do not want to maintain fertility includes: an external beam radiation therapy and brachytherapy, or radical hysterectomy with pelvic lymph node dissection.
Stages IB1, IB2 and IIA:
Treatment options for Stage IB1 and IB2 differ for women who want to maintain fertility, and women who don’t want to maintain fertility. For women who want to maintain fertility, radical trachelectomy with pelvic lymph node removal is an option. For women who do not want to maintain fertility, radical hysterectomy and radiation are options.
Treatment options for Stage IIA1 include radical hysterectomy with pelvic lymph node dissection and para-aortic lymph node sampling, as well as radiation with or without chemotherapy.
Stages IB3 and IIA2:
Treatment options for IB3 and IIA2 include: chemoradiation, radical hysterectomy with pelvic lymph node dissection and para-aortic lymph node sampling, and chemoradiation with a hysterectomy.
Stages IIB, III, IVA:
Treatment options for Stages IIB, III, and IVA include chemoradiation, which is a mix of radiation therapy and external beam radiation and brachytherapy.
Stage IVB cervical cancer has spread to other areas of the body, and the typical treatments for this stage include radiation therapy with or without chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and clinical trials.
You can contact us for detailed information about treatments for cervical cancer and clinical trials.