A DIAGNOSIS is devastating. But there are effective treatment to kill the cancer cells and stop them spreading.
Cancer Research UK says the best treatment for you will depend on the stage of the cancer.
Stage 1 - the cancer is just in the cervix.
The usual treatment is surgery or radiotherapy. But if the cancer is larger than 4cm, your specialist may advise you to have a combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Stage 2 - the cancer has begun to spread around the cervix
If the spread is downwards towards the vagina, then the usual treatment is surgery or radiotherapy or both. If the spread is mostly upwards into the womb, then research shows that a combination of radiotherapy and chemotherapy is best.
Stage 3 - the cancer has spread into the pelvis
In stage 3, the cancer has spread away from the area surrounding the cervix, such as into the lower vagina, the muscles of the pelvis, or upwards towards the ureters (they join the kidneys to the bladder). This stage is usually treated with radiotherapy and chemotherapy, because research shows that this combination can give the best success rate.
Stage 4 - the cancer has spread into other body organs
This stage is more advanced because there is secondary cancer in other organs, either in the pelvis, or further afield like the lungs. It’s treated with surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy or a combination of these treatments, depending on where the secondary cancers are.
Having radiotherapy for cervical cancer
Radiotherapy can be given externally with a beam of rays focussed on the cancer. It can also be given internally, when a small radio-active source is inserted up the vagina and into the uterus (womb). Sometimes, both methods are used.
Radiotherapy is often very successful in treating cervical cancer. However, you should be aware that you won’t be able to become pregnant afterwards.
For more info, see cancer help.org .
I had radiotherapy internally, 2 x 10 hours worth as i had stage1. I knew i had Ovarian Cancer, but it wasn't until i came round from my hysterectomy operation that my Consultant informed me that he'd also found Cervical Cancer down there too and this is why i would need the internal radiotherapy.