TomoTherapy®: Advanced Treatment for Cervical Cancer
CTCA offers one of the latest breakthroughs in radiation therapy: TomoTherapy® Highly Integrated Adaptive Radiotherapy. TomoTherapy® allows us to treat patients who have difficult-to-reach tumors. It may be a treatment option for some cervical cancer patients.
This highly advanced form of Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy targets tumors, minimizing harm to healthy tissue. Treatment sessions take just minutes.
What is cervical cancer?
Cervical cancer is a disease in which cancer cells form in the cervix. The cervix is located in the lower portion of the uterus. It connects the uterus (where a baby grows when a woman is pregnant) to the vagina (birth canal).
Typically, cervical cancer develops slowly. The cancerous cells begin to grow in the tissues of the cervix. Gradually, the cells spread throughout the cervix and to surrounding areas.
Who does cervical cancer affect?
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) estimates that approximately 11,000 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2008.
According to research reported by NCI’s Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) program, from 2000 to 2004, the average age of women diagnosed with cervical cancer was 48.
What are the risk factors for cervical cancer?
Socioeconomic status is a major risk factor for cervical cancer, since a lack of access to medical care often eliminates the opportunity for early diagnosis by Pap test screening. Smoking, a high number of sexual partners and sexual intercourse at an early age are other risk factors.
Yet, perhaps, the most significant risk factor for developing cervical cancer is the human papillomavirus (HPV), a virus primarily spread through sexual contact. Many women who have cervical cancer also have HPV.
Routine gynecological examinations, including Pap tests, remain the most effective way to prevent invasive cervical cancer. Pap tests (or Pap smears) are simple procedures that enable doctors to look at cells from the cervix to determine if they may be cancerous or precancerous.
Where can you find comprehensive treatment for cervical cancer?
At Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), we treat of all of you—not just the disease—with cutting-edge technology, advanced medical treatments and supportive therapies.
Unlike other hospitals and treatment facilities, at CTCA you'll find a comprehensive, integrative approach to fighting cancer—in one location. Our experts in oncology, nutrition, naturopathy, mind-body medicine, oncology rehabilitation, and more surround you with support and empower you to make decisions about your treatment.
We’re ready to fight for you. Call us today at 1-800-615-3055 to learn more about our unique approach to fighting cervical cancer. Or, click to chat with one of our Oncology Information Specialists.
Cervical cancer symptoms
Symptoms of early stage cervical cancer are rare. Oftentimes, precancerous and early stage cancer of the cervix do not exhibit signs or symptoms, such as pain. Symptoms typically do not occur until the disease has progressed to an advanced stage.
Common symptoms of cervical cancer may include the following:
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding (e.g., bleeding between menstrual periods, bleeding after intercourse, menstrual periods that are heavier and of longer duration than normal, bleeding after menopause)
- Vaginal discharge (i.e., of a larger amount than previously ever experienced; it may contain some blood and may occur between menstrual periods or after menopause)
- Pain (i.e., particularly after intercourse; pelvic pain)
Please know that the symptoms above may be caused by other conditions, such as infection. If you are experiencing these symptoms, please consult your doctor. He or she can perform tests to determine if you are suffering from cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer detection
Regular gynecological exams and Pap tests are the key to detecting cervical cancer at an early stage, preventing the disease from becoming invasive. Pap tests help detect changes in cervical cells before they become cancerous.
Your doctor should perform a thorough pelvic exam, Pap test and obtain your complete medical history. If your Pap test then indicates that you have precancerous cells or cancer of the cervix, your doctor may perform diagnostic procedures. Two common diagnostics for cervical cancer are:
- Colposcopy – Your doctor will check your cervix by looking through a colposcope. This tool (which uses a magnifying lens and bright light) allows your doctor to examine cervical tissue.
- Biopsy – In these procedures, your doctor retrieves a small tissue sample from your cervix. Pathologists in a laboratory then examine the tissue for cancer cells.
If a biopsy determines that cervical cancer exists, your doctor may perform additional biopsies to help determine the extent (stage) of the disease. Diagnostic imaging tests may also be performed to help determine the stage, including:
If you have been diagnosed with cervical cancer and are looking for a second opinion from a care team of experienced doctors and other clinicians as committed to your fight as you are—call Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) today at 1-800-615-3055. Oncology Information Specialists are available around the clock to answer your questions about what CTCA offers.
Cervical cancer treatments
A number of treatments are used to fight cervical cancer. In some cases, a combination of therapies may be recommended.
At Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), you’ll meet one-on-one with physicians and practitioners to discuss and choose the treatment options that will work best for you.
Factors your CTCA doctors consider include the stage of the cervical cancer, the location and size of your tumor, prior treatment received, as well as your age and general health.
Your options for conventional, cervical cancer treatment may include the following:
- Radiation therapy (e.g., external beam radiation, High-Dose Rate (HDR) brachytherapy)
Along with these traditional medical treatments for cervical cancer, at CTCA we offer supportive therapies, including nutrition, naturopathic medicine, pain management, oncology rehabilitation, mind-body medicine, and spiritual support. Our comprehensive, integrative approach to fighting cervical cancer ultimately helps you maintain your strength and improve your overall quality of life.
Discover your cancer treatment options today. Call 1-800-615-3055 or chat now. Our knowledgeable Oncology Information Specialists offer insight into advanced cancer treatments that may be right for you.
Experts at fighting cancer
At Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), your care team will include responsive, caring and experienced physicians who specialize in fighting cervical cancer with conventional medical treatments, including surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy/biotherapy. Our highly skilled physicians work side by side with experienced complementary/alternative medicine practitioners, who offer supportive therapies aimed at keeping your body, mind and spirit strong during cancer.
Furthermore, our Gynecologic Oncology Program at CTCA at Midwestern Regional Medical Center specializes in treating women with cancer of the reproductive organs, including cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal, and vulvar cancers. Sybilann Williams, MD, an experienced gynecologic oncologist, leads this exemplary program.
Put our team of cancer experts to work for you today. Call 1-800-615-3055. Or, chat now with one of our Oncology Information Specialists.
It begins with you. At Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), you’re at the center of your care team. Our support then surrounds you.
We take time to listen to you, answer your questions and, if you feel able or well enough, encourage you to participate in making decisions about your treatment. It’s all part of our philosophy of care known as Patient Empowerment MedicineSM. It’s the way we always care for our patients—by putting them first, and empowering and educating them about cancer.
We will work with you to find the specific, cervical cancer treatment options suited to your needs.
- Our physicians will thoroughly evaluate your condition and consider several significant factors, including the extent of the disease, prior treatment received and your general state of health.
- You and your care team of physicians and practitioners will create a comprehensive cancer treatment plan that is just for you.
To learn more about our comprehensive, personalized care for cervical cancer, call our Oncology Information Specialists at 1-800-615-3055. Or, click to chat now.
If you’re ready to take your fight against cervical cancer to the next level, call Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) today. We’re ready to fight for you.
Call us at 1-800-615-3055 to discuss scheduling an appointment at one of our premier centers for healing and hope.