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Cervical cancer

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Treatments for stage II cervical cancer

The following are treatment options for stage II cervical cancer. Your healthcare team will suggest treatments based on your needs and work with you to develop a treatment plan. You may be offered one or more of the following treatments.

Chemoradiation

Chemoradiation is often used as the main treatment for stage II cervical cancer. This treatment combines chemotherapy with radiation therapy. Chemotherapy is given during the same time period as radiation therapy.

During chemoradiation, chemotherapy is usually given 5 or 6 times (one treatment per week) during the same time period as external beam radiation therapy. Cisplatin (Platinol AQ) is the chemotherapy drug most commonly used to treat stage II cervical cancer. Cisplatin makes external beam radiation therapy more effective. Brachytherapy is usually given after external beam radiation therapy and chemotherapy are finished.

Surgery

You may be offered surgery for stage II cervical cancer. It may be used as the main treatment for small stage IIA1 and, in some cases for stage IIA2 tumours.

Surgery for stage II cervical cancer is most often a radical hysterectomy and removal of pelvic lymph nodes (called a pelvic lymph node dissection, or PLND). Lymph nodes at the back of the abdomen (para-aortic lymph nodes) may also be removed at the time of surgery. They will be checked to see if they contain cancer.

A hysterectomy may be done after chemoradiation to remove any cancer left behind to help lower the risk that the cancer will recur, or come back. When surgery is used after other treatments, it is called adjuvant therapy.

Find out more about hysterectomy and lymph node dissection.

Radiation therapy

You may be offered radiation therapy for stage II cervical cancer. Women who have radiation therapy will often have both external beam radiation therapy and brachytherapy. In most cases radiation therapy is given with chemotherapy (chemoradiation), but in some cases it may be used alone.

Radiation therapy may be given as the main treatment or used after surgery if there are cancer cells in or close to the edges of the removed tissue (called positive surgical margins). Radiation therapy is also used if there are cancer cells in blood vessels or lymph vessels in or around the tumour (called lymphovascular invasion) or in lymph nodes.

Clinical trials

You may be asked if you want to join a clinical trial for cervical cancer. Find out more about clinical trials.

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