Treatment for cervical cancer depends on the stage of the cancer. Other factors, including a patient’s health, impact the type of treatment for cervical cancer.
If you are diagnosed with cancer of the cervix (the narrow, lowermost part of the uterus), a variety of tests can determine the stage of the cancer based on the size of the tumor, depth of invasion (how far it has grown into the cervix), and how far it has spread. While your treatment for cervical cancer depends largely on the stage of the disease, your doctor will also take into consideration your general health, age, and personal preferences when planning how your cancer will be treated.
The most common types of treatment for cervical cancer are surgery, radition therapy, cheomtherapy, and targeted treatment. Depending on the stage of cervical cancer, only one of these treatments or a combination of two or more may be used.
For example, either surgery alone or radiation combined with chemo is often the treatment for the earliest stages of cervical cancer, while a combination of radiation and chemotherapy is usually the primary treatment for later stages. The most advanced cases of cervical cancer are typically treated with chemotherapy drugs, the American Cancer Society points out.
Cone biopsy treatment for cervical cancer
Cone biopsies, also called conization, may be used to not only diagnose cervical cancer but also treat the disease, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI). This surgical procedure involves removing a cone-shaped or cylindrical wedge of tissue from the cervix and cervical canal.
A pathologist then looks for signs of cancer cells. If the margins (outer edges) of the removed tissue are found to contain cancer or cells that have precancerous changes, this indicates some cancer or pre-cancer may have been left in the cervix and further treatment is needed.
The type of conization procedure used depends on where abnormal tissue (precancerous cells) or cancer cells are found in the cervix.
Cone biopsy methods:
- Cold-knife conization uses a scalpel to remove abnormal tissue or cancer.
- For a loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP), a surgeon uses a thin wire loop with an electrical current passing through it to remove abnormal tissue or cancer.
- Laser surgery makes bloodless cuts in tissue with a laser beam (a narrow, intense beam of light) to remove a lesion or tumor on the surface of the cervix.
A cone biopsy for early stage cervical cancer, or pre-cancerous cells, is the preferred procedure for women who want to have children after their cancer is treated, the American Cancer Society points out.
March 18, 2020
Janet O’Dell, RN