Cervical cancer treatment
Cervical cancer can be treated with either surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy or a combination of these treatments. Cervical cancer diagnosed at an early stage can be completely cured, while advanced cancer is much more complicated to treat, and treatment is markedly less successful. Despite the availability of cervical cancer screening, many Czech women neglect gynaecological examinations and 330–350 of them die each year of cervical cancer.
- In early-stage cancer, surgery is often the main treatment. Cervical conisation is a sufficient option in tumours not exceeding 3 mm, similarly to precancerous changes. In most cases, this simple surgical procedure does not affect the patient’s fertility or possibility of pregnancy in future.
- In locally advanced cancer, where the cancer has spread beyond the cervix, and is not curable with surgery alone, radiotherapy is the usual treatment. It is usually given in combination with chemotherapy. The surgical treatment is more radical and hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) is often performed, making it impossible for the woman to have children in future.
- In advanced and recurrent cancer, chemotherapy and radiotherapy can be used in combination (chemoradiotherapy). It is used in this situation to try to shrink and control the cancer and relieve symptoms, to prolong a good quality of life. This is known as palliative treatment.