The latest options in cervical cancer treatment are available from the multispecialty team of cancer professionals at Moffitt’s Center for Women’s Oncology. Within a single, convenient location, our patients have access to gynecologic oncologists, medical oncologists and radiation oncologists, as well as social workers, dietitians and other supportive care providers. This highly collaborative group comprises a unique tumor board, which reviews each new patient’s case in depth and determines the best possible course of treatment.
In recognition of our dedicated research efforts toward finding novel cancer treatments, Moffitt has been designated a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute. Through our robust clinical trials, we make promising experimental therapies available to patients who qualify.
Surgical treatment options for cervical cancer at Moffitt
At Moffitt, the talented team at our gynecological clinic provides an extensive range of both standard and innovative, minimally invasive surgical options for cervical cancer treatment. As a high-volume cancer center, Moffitt gives surgical oncologists an unparalleled level of experience. Following are some of the surgical procedures our team frequently performs for cervical cancer patients.
Laser surgery uses a focused beam of intense light to remove surface lesions, such as tumors. During this procedure, the laser is directed through the vagina and works by vaporizing, or burning off, the abnormal cells. This can be done using local anesthesia.
Also referred to as a “cone biopsy,” conization involves the removal of a cone-shaped piece of tissue from the cervix or cervical canal. The tissue is examined under a microscrope; if the outer edges of the tissue (called “margins”) contain any cancerous or abnormal cells, further treatment will be needed to ensure that none of the cancer was left behind.
Robotic gynecologic surgery
Robotic surgery is a type of minimally invasive surgery that is performed with the assistance of the da Vinci® Surgical System. This system allows surgeons to operate with extreme precision and control using only a few small incisions, which typically results in shorter recovery times.
A trachelectomy involves the removal of the cervix and upper part of the vagina. This procedure leaves the uterus intact, preserving the patient’s ability to have children. Following a trachelectomy, it is possible for some women to carry a pregnancy to full term, delivering the baby by cesarean section.
A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure that is performed to remove the uterus and cervix. The ovaries and fallopian tubes are usually not removed, unless otherwise necessary. There are several methods for performing this procedure, including laparoscopic and robotic-assisted techniques.
A radical hysterectomy involves removing more tissue than a simple hysterectomy. A radical hysterectomy typically involves removal of the uterus, as well as surrounding tissues and the upper part of the vagina near the cervix. The ovaries and fallopian tubes are usually not removed unless otherwise called for.
Unilateral or bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy
A unilateral salpingo-oophorectomy involves the removal of one ovary and fallopian tube, whereas a bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy involves the removal of both ovaries and fallopian tubes. These procedures would be necessary when cervical cancer has spread to these areas.
This procedure is usually recommended with recurrent cervical cancer. It is more extensive than a radical hysterectomy in that in addition to removing the uterus, surrounding tissues and upper part of the vagina, it also involves pelvic lymph node dissection. The bladder, vagina, rectum and part of the colon may also be removed if the cancer has metastasized there.
Other cervical cancer treatments at Moffitt
At Moffitt, we also offer the latest options in chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Some patients are treated with systemic chemotherapy, through which a drug is taken by mouth or injected into a vein or muscle so that it can enter the bloodstream and reach cancer cells throughout the body to inhibit their growth. We also offer regional chemotherapy, which involves the placement of a drug directly into an area of the body where it can target the cancer cells located in that specific area.
If radiation therapy is prescribed, it can be administered externally or internally. During external radiation therapy, a machine located outside a woman’s body sends high-energy X-rays or other types of radiation toward the cancer cells to destroy them or keep them from growing. Internal radiation therapy, or brachytherapy, involves the placement of a radioactive substance (sealed within needles, seeds, wires or catheters) directly into a woman’s body at or near the cancer site.
To learn more about cervical cancer treatment options, please contact us at 1-888-663-3488 to make an appointment or you can also schedule an appointment using our new patient registration form. No referral is necessary to consult with the cervical cancer experts at Moffitt’s gynecological clinic.