Cervical cancer

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Treatments for stage III cervical cancer

The following are treatment options for stage III 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 III 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 III cervical cancer. Cisplatin makes external beam radiation therapy more effective. Brachytherapy is usually given during and after external beam radiation therapy.

Surgery

Some women may have surgery to check lymph nodes at the back of the abdomen (called the para-aortic lymph nodes) for cancer. This surgery may be done before chemoradiation to help plan your radiation treatment.

Radiation therapy

You may be offered radiation therapy for stage III 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 as the main treatment for stage III cervical cancer.

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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Great progress has been made

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Some cancers, such as thyroid and testicular, have survival rates of over 90%. Other cancers, such as pancreatic, brain and esophageal, continue to have very low survival rates.

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