Cervical cancer treatment

Cervical cancer treatment depends on the stage. Early detection gives women the most options, of course. Ideally, just a LEEP or cone biopsy is all that is needed for women who still want to have children.

Basically, there are five stages of cervical cancer, with 0 being the least invasive and 4 meaning that it has spread to other parts of the body. In the US, because of routine Pap tests, it is uncommon that women have stage 4. In some under-developed countries, women die from cervical cancer every day.

For the earliest stages (0, Ia, Ib), surgery, like LEEP or cone biopsy, is always recommended and is typically all that is needed. For some women who have a little bigger tumor, but the cancer still has not spread further, a trachelectomy may be a possibility. For later stages, not only is surgery necessary, but chemotherapy will also be required.

One question I had was why surgery and not chemotherapy for early stages? Why not wipe out the cancer with chemotherapy? The answer is that chemotherapy doesn't reach the cervix well enough.  It's used for cancer that has spread deeper.

There are some experimental studies that look at chemotherapy for tumors that are bigger than 2 cm but smaller than 4 cm. The purpose is to shrink the tumor before surgery.

Obviously, if a hysterectomy is required, you're not going to be able to get pregnant.

If you are diagnosed with cervical cancer, find the best gynecology oncologist in your area. Surgical technique can affect your fertility.

Alternative treatments

Because cervical cancer is slow-growing, if you want to try an alternative, you could avoid surgery and other cervical cancer treatments after discussing this with your doctor. I can't find any research on this for cervical cancer, so I am not telling you this will work, but the mechanism of action makes sense.

I'm talking about pawpaw.  Pawpaw is a tree, and the twigs contain acetogenins, which have anti-cancer activity and also activity against things like lice.

Acetogenins work by reducing ATP production inside the cell.  ATP is the energy cells need to grow and divide, so if that production is reduced or stopped, the cell stops growing and dividing and will die.  Cancer cells are just cells that won't die when they should, and they divide very rapidly.  A normal cell also divides, but not as fast, so anything that targets rapidly dividing cells will preferentially target cancer cells.

If you don't have cancer, then acetogenins will affect cells in primarily your digestive tract because they divide more rapidly than other cells.  So it's not recommended to take this as a preventive, but as a treatment.  Again, I'm not saying you should not have surgery, but talk to your doctor and ask if waiting a while in order to try pawpaw and see if it works to shrink or eliminate your cancer would be okay.