CERVICAL CANCER

Expert cervical cancer care focused on your needs.

Cervical cancer doctor smiling

What you need to know 

Cervical cancer was once the most common cause of cancer death for American women. But with more Pap screening, the survival rate has increased dramatically. That’s because a Pap test can find changes in the cervix before cancer develops — and find cancers early when they are easier to treat. 

Most cervical cancers develop between ages 35 to 44. More than 15 percent are found in women who are 65 or older, but rarely are those cases in women who have been getting regular screenings. 

Meet our providers

Our team features some of the region’s most recognized women’s cancer specialists. Learn more about our experts.

Understand your diagnosis

At this point, you’ve likely had a physical exam and reviewed your health history with your provider. You may have also had a biopsy to confirm your diagnosis. Following a diagnosis of cervical cancer, you may have more tests to help your doctor understand your cancer stage.

Cancer staging includes identifying where the cancer is located, if or where it has spread, and if it is affecting other parts of your body. Knowing the stage allows your doctor to develop your personalized treatment plan.

Some tests your doctor may now recommend include:

  • Cervical biopsy: There are several different types, including colposcopic biopsy, endocervical curettage (endocervical scraping) and cone biopsy. 
  • Colposcopy: This is a procedure where the doctor can get a better view of your cervix with a tool called the colposcope.
  • CT scan, MRI or positron emission tomography (PET): These imaging technologies look inside the body.
  • Pelvic exam under anesthesia: This includes cystoscopy (looking inside the urethra and bladder) and proctoscopy (looking inside the anal cavity, rectum and lower colon).

 

Customized treatment plans

Because each person and every cancer is different, your doctor uses your tests and exams to come up with an individual treatment plan. How long this takes depends on how complex your case is and your treatment goals. During this time, you build a relationship with your cancer doctors. You become a team for your care.
 
Open, honest communication can only benefit your relationship with your doctors. These tips can also help you get the most from this partnership:
  • Prepare in advance: Write down your questions ahead of your visits. A few examples of smart questions:
    • Why are we doing these tests?
    • Why do you think this treatment is right?
    • What side effects might this treatment cause?
  • Find trustworthy resources: If you’re looking to learn more, rely on this website or sources your team recommends, so you can make decisions based on good information.
  • Take a partner: Bringing a friend or family member to appointments can make you feel more confident and help you remember important details.

Treatment options

There are several ways to treat cervical cancer depending on the type and location of the tumor. Options may include surgery, chemotherapy, targeted therapy or radiation. Women often receive a combination of treatments. 

Talk to your doctor to see if a clinical trial (research study) may be right for you. Learn more about your treatment options.

More support

You are not alone. Legacy offers support throughout your cancer journey, as well as care for your emotional, social and spiritual needs.

Nurse navigators
Legacy Cancer Healing Center 
Support groups and classes
Cancer rehabilitation 
Survivorship services

Meet our providers

Our team features some of the region’s most recognized women’s cancer specialists. Learn more about our experts.