How is cervical cancer treated?

Some women with early-stage cervical cancer are treated with a radical trachelectomy or a simple hysterectomy, and nothing else. A radical trachelectomy, also known as a cervicectomy, involves removing the cervix and the lower part of the uterus, but preserving enough of the uterus that the patient may still be able to conceive and carry a child (and then deliver in via C-cection). Lymph nodes in the pelvis are also removed in order to help determine whether the cancer has spread. Radical trachelectomy is a smaller operation than hysterectomy. A simple hysterectomy is the most common. It is generally recommended when the woman is not as interested in preserving her fertility and/or is older. A hysterectomy removes the cervix and the full uterus. A radical hysterectomy -- which als removes part of the vagina and some lymph nodes -- is necessary when the cancer is more advanced. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy may also be used to kill cancer cells. In June 2006 the FDA also approved a drug treatment called Hycamtin for late-stage cervical cancer.