The treatment of cervical cancer depends on several factors, including the type and stage of cancer, possible side effects, and the woman’s preferences and overall health. Your care plan may also include treatment for symptoms and side effects, an important part of cancer care.
Women with cervical cancer may have concerns about if or how their treatment may affect their sexual function and fertility (ability to have children), and these topics should be discussed with the health care team before treatment begins. A woman who is pregnant should talk with her doctor about how treatments could affect both her and the unborn child. Treatment may be able to be delayed until after the baby is born.
Surgery is the removal of the tumor and surrounding tissue during an operation. A surgical oncologist is a doctor who specializes in treating cancer using surgery. For cervical cancer that has not spread beyond the cervix, these procedures are often used:
For cervical cancer that has spread beyond the cervix, this procedure may be used:
Complications or side effects from surgery vary depending on the extent of the procedure. Occasionally, patients experience significant bleeding, infection, or damage to the urinary and intestinal systems.
If extensive surgical procedures have affected sexual function, other surgical procedures can be used to make an artificial vagina. Because these surgical procedures affect a woman′s sexual health, women should talk with their doctor about their symptoms and concerns in detail before the surgery.