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Treatment for Cervical Cancer in the South Chicago Area

Women with cervical cancer have many treatment options based on the tumor’s size and whether cancer has spread. Choices for treatment may also depend on whether you would like to become pregnant someday.

Options for cervical cancer treatment may include one or a combination of the following treatment types:


Surgery is an option for women with Stage I or II cervical cancer. The specific type of surgery will be based on what the gynecologic oncologist sees from the testing. If they are concerned about the cancer moving to other areas of the body, the surgery may require more than removing only the cancer from the cervix.

  • Conization: Cold knife conization uses a scalpel to remove a cone-shaped piece of tissue from the cervix and cervical canal. Sometimes all the cancer can be removed during this procedure.

  • Hysterectomy A hysterectomy is surgery to remove the uterus. There are several types of hysterectomy that may be used to treat cervical cancer:
    • Total hysterectomy: The surgeon removes the cervix and uterus.

    • Radical hysterectomy: The surgeon removes the cervix, some tissue around the cervix, the uterus, and part of the vagina.

    • Modified radical hysterectomy removes the uterus, cervix, upper part of the vagina, and ligaments and tissues that closely surround these organs. This type of surgery removes fewer tissues and/or organs than a radical hysterectomy. The ovaries, fallopian tubes, or nearby lymph nodes may also be removed.

  • Radical trachelectomy: The surgeon removes the cervix, part of the vagina, and the lymph nodes in the pelvis. This option is for a small number of women with small tumors who want to try to get pregnant later on.

  • Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy: Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy removes both ovaries and both fallopian tubes. This is done when the cancer has spread to these organs.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy (also called radiotherapy) is an option for women with any stage of cervical cancer. Women with early-stage cervical cancer may be able to use only radiation therapy instead of surgery. It also may be used after surgery to destroy any cancer cells that remain in the area.

Women with cancer that extends beyond the cervix may have radiation therapy and chemotherapy, and/or other medical oncology treatments to stop the growth of cancer cells that have moved to other areas of the body.

Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays to kill cancer cells. It affects cells only in the treated area.

Doctors use two types of radiation therapy to treat cervical cancer. Some women receive both types:

  • External radiation therapy: A large machine directs radiation at your pelvis or other tissues where the cancer has spread. The treatment usually is given in a hospital or clinic. You may receive external radiation 5 days a week for several weeks. Each treatment takes only a few minutes.

  • Internal radiation therapy: A thin tube is placed inside the vagina. A radioactive substance is loaded into the tube. You may need to stay in the hospital while the radioactive source is in place (up to 3 days). Or the treatment session may last a few minutes, and you can go home afterward. Once the radioactive substance is removed, no radioactivity is left in your body. Internal radiation may be repeated two or more times over several weeks.

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Therapies Using Medicines

Medication may be given through the bloodstream to reach and kill cancer cells throughout the body. When a drug is given this way, it is called systemic therapy. Medication may also be applied directly to or near the cancer. This is called local therapy. Therapies using medication include chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy.


For the treatment of cervical cancer, chemotherapy is usually combined with radiation therapy. For cancer that has spread to distant organs, chemotherapy alone may be used.

Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. The drugs for cervical cancer are usually given through a vein (intravenous). You’re most likely to receive chemotherapy in a cancer center like Affiliated Oncologists. This is overseen by the gynecologic oncologist.

Targeted Therapy

Targeted therapy uses drugs or other substances to block the action of specific enzymes, proteins, or other molecules involved in the growth and spread of cancer cells. This type of treatment blocks the growth and spread of cancer cells and limits damage to healthy cells.

Not all tumors have the same targets. To find the most effective treatment, your doctor may run tests to identify the genes, proteins, and other factors in your tumor.


Immunotherapy helps a person’s immune system fight cancer. Biomarker tests can be used to help predict your response to certain immunotherapy drugs.


The Latest Cervical Cancer Treatments in the South Chicago Area

The gynecologic oncologists at Affiliated Oncologists work with you to recommend a treatment plan specific to your needs. We have cancer centers in the South Chicago suburbs, including Downers Grove and Oak Lawn, IL. We also provide second opinions on diagnosis and treatment plans for cervical cancer.