You may have several questions, such as
Cervical cancer treatment can include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy, depending on severity. These treatments may completely remove or destroy cancer. However, for some women, cervical cancer may never be cured, and treatment becomes long-term.
Management can be stressful for women whose cancer can not be completely cured. Although their cancer may be in remission, it must be managed as a chronic illness because of the possibility of recurrence. Treatment options should be discussed with your doctor thoroughly.
It is important to follow-up with your doctor after treatment to monitor changes or any new symptoms or concerns. It is recommended that you have a physical exam every three to six months for the first couple of years. This is to ensure that cancer has not returned or progressed and spread further.
If worrisome symptoms occur, imaging tests can be done to determine if cancer has spread to other areas of the body or if any masses or tumors are present. The imaging allows the doctor to establish an appropriate treatment plan for you.
Living with Cancer
Long-term treatment with chemotherapy can be taxing on the mind and body for someone whose cancer cannot be cured. Factors such as age, overall health, how the treatment is tolerated, and the cancer cells' aggressiveness should be considered and adapted into the treatment plan.
Reducing the risk of Cervical Cancer
Healthy living is essential to reduce the risk of recurrence. This includes eating a healthy, balanced diet, exercising, and maintaining a healthy weight. Smoking cessation is also important as it has been linked to cervical cancer growth and recurrence.
Cancer can take a toll on your body. Getting the emotional support you need can help with the depression and anxiousness you may be experiencing. Talking to a friend, family member, or counselor may help you get through this difficult time. There may also be cancer support groups in your area you can join in person or online.
Women who have had cervical cancer may also be at higher risk for developing a second cancer. To reduce this risk, follow-up with your doctor as advised and get scheduled health screenings. Staying away from tobacco, limiting alcohol, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle with diet and exercise can also help reduce your risk.