At Memorial Hermann Cancer Centers, three types of standard treatment are used to combat cervical cancer: surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
Surgery for cervical cancer may involve:
Conization to remove a cone-shaped piece of tissue from the cervix and cervical canal to either diagnose or treat the cancer.
Total hysterectomy to remove the uterus and cervix, either a vaginal hysterectomy or a total abdominal hysterectomy. The uterus and cervix may also be removed through a small incision in the abdomen using a laparoscope, which is called a total laparoscopic hysterectomy.
Radical hysterectomy to remove the uterus, cervix, part of the vagina and a wide area of ligaments and tissues around these organs. The ovaries, fallopian tubes or nearby lymph nodes may also be removed.
Modified radical hysterectomy to remove the uterus, cervix, upper part of the vagina and ligaments and tissues that closely surround these organs. Nearby lymph nodes may also be removed.
Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy to remove both ovaries and both fallopian tubes.
Pelvic exenteration to remove the lower colon, rectum and bladder, as well as the cervix, vagina, ovaries and nearby lymph nodes. Artificial openings are made for urine and stool to flow from the body to a collection bag. Plastic surgery may be needed to create an artificial vagina after this operation.
Cryosurgery using an instrument to freeze and destroy abnormal tissue, also called cryotherapy
Laser surgery, which uses a laser beam as a knife to make bloodless cuts in tissue or to remove a surface lesion, such as a tumor.
Loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP), which uses electrical current passed through a thin wire loop as a knife to remove abnormal tissue or cancer.
Even if the surgeon removes all the cancer visible at the time of surgery, some patients may be given chemotherapy or radiation therapy after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells.