Cervical Cancer: What You Need to Know
Finding out you received a cervical cancer diagnosis is not an easy situation to navigate. The words “cervical cancer” can come with many questions, fears, and concerns, and rightfully so. However, the team at Astera Cancer Care is proud to say we offer a seamless and comprehensive system of care for all cancer types and are here to help support you during diagnosis and treatment until remission and beyond. So if you have recently been diagnosed with cervical cancer, here are a few things you should know:
What to Expect at Your Next Appointment
Once it’s determined that you have cervical cancer, your next appointment might come with many questions, explanations, and more from you and your doctor. List any concerns or questions that might pop up beforehand in a notebook and bring it to you so that you don’t leave without getting the answers you need.
As for your doctor, they will likely start by asking you a series of questions such as your symptoms, the severity of them, the types of medication you are on, and if you want children in the future. From there, they’ll determine the future testing and staging that will be required before a treatment plan is decided upon.
Future Testing and Staging
Once testing determines that you have cervical cancer, the next step is to establish the extent (stage) of it, also known as staging. This is an integral part of what treatment options are available and how to proceed. Often, a staging exam might be image testing like X-ray, CT, and position emission tomography (PET) to see if the cancer is isolated or has spread beyond the cervix.
You might also be scheduled for a visual examination with a special scope to examine your bladder and rectum.
Determining Your Treatment Options
Once all testing is back, your doctor will better understand how advanced your cancer is and what steps will be needed to combat it. In its early stages, surgery may be all that is required. For some, this depends on if you plan to have children again and the size and the stage the cancer is in. For late-stage cervical cancer, radiation, chemotherapy, surgery, or a combination of the three might be prescribed.
When the above treatment options have been exhausted, immunotherapy may be suggested. A drug treatment that aids your immune system in fighting cancer, immunotherapy works by interfering with the process that cancer cells go through to produce proteins and go undetected by immune system cells. Clinical trials, as well as support and palliative care, might also be mentioned or suggested by your doctor throughout the process.
Either way, all treatment options and decisions are unique to each patient and can and may change as treatment and time go on. Either way, your cancer care team will always be there to help guide you through the process.
Cancer Care in New Jersey
From diagnosis to treatment, caring for you is what we’re all about. At Astera Cancer Care, we inspire hope and improve outcomes through our commitment to personalized patient care and the latest treatment and research.