How is cervical cancer treated?
Every patient at Miami Cancer Institute receives a personalized treatment plan put together by our team of gynecologic oncologists.
Our philosophy is to find the plan that not only treats the cancer, but also fits you as a patient. Your team will consider your specific diagnosis and type of cancer, the stage of disease, size and location of cancer cells and whether it has spread to other parts of your body. We also work closely with physical therapists, nurses, nutritionists and psychosocial experts to ensure we address any potential side effects of treatment.
Surgery is usually the first step to treating cervical cancer. It is often the only treatment needed for pre-cancers or early-stage cervical cancers.
In many cases, gynecologic cancers can be treated with minimally invasive or robotic surgeries. As leaders in gynecologic cancer surgery, Miami Cancer Institute has one of the largest minimally invasive gynecologic surgical programs in the region. The Institute also holds a designation as a center of excellence in minimally invasive gynecologic surgery by the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists (AAGL).
Miami Cancer Institute also takes a multi-specialty approach to gynecologic surgeries, and your care team will collaborate with surgery specialists from different treatment areas to help create a comprehensive care plan for you.
Surgery to treat cervical cancer may include:
- Cryosurgery - This involves freezing tissue to kill cancer cells.
- Cone biopsy (conization)
- Loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) - During this procedure, surgeons send an electrical current through a thin wire loop to remove cancerous tissue.
- Hysterectomy - During this procedure, surgeons will remove the entire uterus and cervix. In some cases, surgeons will also remove some surrounding tissue and lymph nodes. If the surgeons also remove part of the vagina, this is known as a radical hysterectomy. Our surgeons are trained in conducting these procedures with minimally-invasive techniques, including laparoscopic and robotic surgery techniques.
- Total pelvic exenteration - This is a radical procedure that is only used for women with cancer that has spread beyond the uterus, and who have limited treatment options. During this procedure, surgeons remove all the reproductive organs. In some cases, surgeons may also remove the rectum, urethra and bladder. If you are undergoing pelvic exenteration, your care team will work with you on options to reconstruct any organs that are removed, so you can continue to live a full life after treatment.
After surgery for cervical cancer, our experts will help you through enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS), a nationally recognized recovery method that allows patients to heal faster with less pain. This method, which avoids the use of narcotics, involves a cross-team approach between your nurses and anesthesiologists.
In some cases, your care team may decide to combine surgery with chemotherapy and radiation therapy. This will depend on many factors, including the location of your cancer, how aggressive it is, and whether it has spread to another part of the body.
A multidisciplinary team of cancer experts including surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, plastic reconstructive surgeons, pathologists, radiologists, genetic counselors, medical geneticists, social workers, patient navigators and clinical trials staff meet weekly to discuss select complex cases and determine the best course of care. Stem cell transplantation experts and hematologic oncology experts are also available to discuss complex cases.
Miami Cancer Institute can provide access to clinical trials not widely available elsewhere. Clinical trials find new ways to treat and diagnose cancer and are ongoing. If an appropriate trial is available, we will talk to you about the benefits and risks.
Patient Support Services
Taking care of the whole patient is an important component of providing personalized cancer care. Integrated into the fabric of the Miami Cancer Institute, the Cancer Patient Support Center addresses the psychological, physical, social and spiritual needs of our patients during cancer treatment and beyond.