Coordinated, comprehensive, cutting-edge cervical cancer care, from diagnosis through survivorship.
At Middlesex Health, our approach to treating cervical cancer - or abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix - is multidisciplinary. Your team of healthcare providers will meet regularly to plan and discuss your treatment, to ensure that we are meeting your unique physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.
Our online Learning Center has up-to-date, evidence-based information about numerous topics related to cervical cancer, including diagnostic tests, treatment options, management of treatment side effects, and more.
These resources are not a substitute for the guidance of your physician but can help you learn more about cervical cancer and what to expect during treatment.
Symptoms of cervical cancer may include:
- vaginal discharge
- abnormal vaginal bleeding
- vaginal odor
If you have any of these symptoms, it is important to peak to your physician.
Early detection of cancer can be key to successful treatment, so it is important to understand what increases your risk of cervical cancer. Risk factors can include:
- infection with the Human Papilloma Virus
- having multiple sexual partners
- a weakened immune system
- a family or personal history of cervical cancer
There are several different ways to test for cervical cancer.
- Pelvic Exam: Your doctor performs a physical examination of the internal and external female pelvic organs.
- Pelvic Ultrasound: Your doctor performs a scan of the organs and structures of the pelvis. There are two types of ultrasound:
- transabdominal: a "wand" with gel is placed on the outside of the abdomen (belly area)
- transvaginal: a "wand" covered with a plastic or latex sheet and gel is placed into the vagina
- CT Scan: This test combines a series of x-rays to create detailed images of the inside of your abdomen and pelvis.
- MRI: This test uses magnetic waves to create detailed images of the inside of the pelvis.
- Pap Smear & HPV Test: Your doctor will collect cells from the cervix to check for abnormalities and determine if HPV (human papilloma virus) is present.
- Colposcopy: This exam allows your doctor to see a magnified view of the cells of the cervix, vagina, and vulva.
- Biopsy: This procedure is used to remove a small amount of tissue from your cervix. The doctor will then examine the tissue to check for abnormal and cancerous cells.
- PET Scan: This imagining scan of the entire body is used to determine if cancer has spread beyond the cervix. PET scans can sometimes detect disease before it shows up on other imaging tests.
The evidence-based treatment plan your doctors choose is based on a number of factors: type of cancer, grade and stage of the cancer, your overall health, and your treatment preferences.
Surgery is used to remove cancerous tissue from the body. Your surgeon will determine which approach is most appropriate, depending on the exact type and stage of the cancer. The typical surgical options include:
- traditional open surgery
- minimally-invasive laparoscopic surgery, which involves the use of small cameras and thin instruments for smaller incisions and quicker recovery time.
- minimally-invasive da Vinci® Robot-Assisted surgery
Chemotherapy for gynecologic cancers involves the use of medications to shrink or kill cancerous cells. These medications may be taken intravenously (IV) or as pills.
The board-certified medical oncologists, nurses, and technicians at Connecticut Oncology Group provide the most effective, advanced care with warm, personal attention and support for patients and their families. Your medical oncology team will work closely with your other providers and help provide access to clinical trials.
Radiation oncology is the highly-controlled use of radiation to cure or treat symptoms your cancer.