Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to page options Skip directly to site content

How Is Cervical Cancer Diagnosed and Treated?

A doctor checking on a female hospital patient

If your doctor says that you have cervical cancer, ask to be referred to a gynecologic oncologist—a doctor who has been trained to treat cancers of a woman’s reproductive system. This doctor will work with you to create a treatment plan.

The extent of disease is referred to as the stage. Information about the size of the cancer or how far it has spread is often used to determine the stage. Doctors use this information to plan treatment and to monitor progress.

Types of Treatment

Cervical cancer is treated in several ways. It depends on the kind of cervical cancer and how far it has spread. Treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.

  • Surgery: Doctors remove cancer tissue in an operation.
  • Chemotherapy: Using special medicines to shrink or kill the cancer. The drugs can be pills you take or medicines given in your veins, or sometimes both.
  • Radiation: Using high-energy rays (similar to X-rays) to kill the cancer.

Different treatments may be provided by different doctors on your medical team.

  • Gynecologic oncologists are doctors who have been trained to treat cancers of a woman’s reproductive system.
  • Surgeons are doctors who perform operations.
  • Medical oncologists are doctors who treat cancer with medicine.
  • Radiation oncologists are doctors who treat cancer with radiation.

Visit NCI for more information about treatments for cervical cancer.

Top