Doctors may use several treatment methods for cervical cancer including surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The choice of treatment depends on the stage and type of cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer caught in the earliest stages is generally treated using a combination of surgery and either radiation or chemotherapy, but later-stage cancers typically include a combination of chemotherapy and radiation or only chemotherapy as the primary treatment, reports the American Cancer Society.
Different treatments may be performed by different members of the treatment team, which may include gynecologic oncologists, radiation oncologists, surgeons and medical oncologists. Possible procedures performed for cervical cancer include laser surgery, conization, cryosurgery, hysterectomy, trachelectomy, pelvic node dissection and pelvic exenteration. Procedures vary in extensiveness, and some eliminate a woman's ability to have children.
Patients should understand the risks and side effects of a proposed treatment plan before agreeing to treatment, and they should seek a second opinion from an experienced healthcare professional, states the American Cancer Society. Most insurance companies pay for a second opinion, and some require it before paying for certain treatments. Recovery is the primary goal of treatment, but if recovery is not possible, treatment may be focused on prolonging the patient's life and making her feel comfortable.