Cervical cancer was once one of the most common causes of cancer death for American women. The number of cervical cancer deaths in the United States has dropped by 74% and continues to decline by nearly 4% a year.
The cervix is the terminal end of the uterus and connects with the vagina. Cervical cancer represents about 2% of cancer diagnosed in women, and about 13,000 cases were diagnosed in the year 2000. Pap smears help diagnose this cancer at an early stage. Early stage cancers can be treated either with surgery or radiation. But recent data has indicated that a combination of concurrent chemotherapy and radiation is the optimal choice in most patients with cervical cancer and has a very high cure rate. For higher stage cancers radiation and chemotherapy are the first choice of treatment. For all these stage of cervix cancer, the treatment includes both external beam radiation for several weeks using 3D conformal therapy and in some cases IMRT therapy in combination with HDR brachytherapy treatments. Chemotherapy is given concurrently with the radiation treatments under the direction of your medical oncologist.
Learn more about Radiation Therapy for Gynecologic Cancers