Living as a Cervical Cancer Survivor Cervical Cancer Monitoring (2023)

For some women with cervical cancer, treatment can remove or destroy the cancer. Completion of treatment can be stressful and exciting. You'll feel relief when the treatment is over, but it's hard not to worry that the cancer will come back. This is very common if you have had cancer.

For other women, the cancer may never go away completely. These women may receive regular chemotherapy, radiation or other treatments to keep the cancer under control for as long as possible.Learn to live with cancerwhich does not pass can be difficult and very stressful.

take care

If you have finished treatment, your doctors will still want to keep an eye on you. It is very important to attend all examinations. Doctor visits are a good time to ask questions and talk about any changes or problems you notice or worry about. During these visits, your doctors will ask if you have any problems and may order lab or imaging tests and tests to look for signs of cancer or treatment.Side effects.

Almost all cancer treatments can have side effects. Some may only last a few days or weeks, but others may last a long time. Some side effects may not appear until years after treatment has ended.

It is important to tell your doctor about any new symptoms or problems, as they could be caused by cancer.coming backor a new disease or another cancer.

(Video) Cervical Cancer:Spread, Survival & Life Expectancy |Cervical Cancer Screening -Dr. Sapna Lulla of C9

medical visits

For women with no remaining symptoms of cervical cancer, many doctors recommend follow-up visits (which may include imaging and blood tests) with a physical exam every 3 to 6 months for the first few years after treatment, then every 6 months or so for the next few years. People who have been treated for early stage cancer may need to be tested less often. Some doctors may recommend different monitoring schedules.

Most doctors recommend that women who are being treated for cervical cancer have regular Pap smears, regardless of how they were treated (surgery or radiotherapy). Although cells for a Pap test are usually taken from the cervix, if you no longer have a cervix (because you've had a trachelectomy or hysterectomy), cells will be taken from the upper part of the vagina.

Cervical cancer survivors should also followAmerican Cancer Society guidelines for early detection of cancersuch as breast, lung and colorectal cancer.

image studies

image studiesmay be performed if there are warning signs or symptoms of cancer recurrence.

Ask your doctor for a survivorship care plan

Talk to your doctor about the developmentlife care planfor you. This plan may include:

(Video) Mindy is a cervical cancer survivor.

  • Suggested monitoring scheduleexams and tests
  • Schedule other tests you may need to check for long-term health effects of cancer or its treatment
  • A list of possible late or long-term side effects of treatment, including what to look out for and when to see a doctor
  • Suggestions for things you can do to improve your health, including reducing the chance of the cancer coming back

Maintain health insurance and copies of medical records

Even after treatment, it is very important to keep themhealth insurance. Tests and doctor visits are expensive, and while no one wants to think about cancer coming back, it can happen.

At some point after your cancer treatment ends, you may see a new doctor who doesn't know your medical history. it is important tokeep copies of your medical recordsgive your new doctor details about your diagnosis and treatment.

Can I reduce the risk of cancer progression or recurrence?

If you have (or have had) cervical cancer, you probably want to know if there are things you can do to reduce your risk of the cancer growing or coming back, such as exercising, following a certain type of diet, or taking nutritional supplements. While there are some things you can do that may be helpful, more research is needed to be sure.

Take care of regular physical activity

Some studies have shown that women who are more physically active after being diagnosed with cervical cancer may live longer. More research is being done in this area.

stop smoking

Smoking is known to be associated with an increased risk of cervical cancer. Although it is not clear whether smoking can affect the growth or recurrence of cervical cancer, it is still beneficial to quit smoking to reduce the risk of other smoking-related cancers. Quitting smoking can also help you tolerate chemotherapy and radiation therapy better and reduce further damage to the cells in your cervix or cervical area. If you need help quitting smoking, talk to your doctor or call the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345.

(Video) Sangeeta's story: Cervical Cancer Survivor

Adopt other healthy behaviors

Adopting other healthy behaviors, such as eating well and maintaining a healthy weight, can help, but no one knows for sure. However, we know that these types of changes can have positive effects on your health that may outweigh your risk of cervical or other cancers.

About food supplements

So far, dietary supplements (including vitamins, minerals and herbal products) have not been shown to significantly reduce the risk of cervical cancer progression or recurrence. This does not mean that any supplements do not help, but it is important to know that none have been proven to help.

Dietary supplements are not regulated like drugs in the US - they don't have to be proven effective (or even safe) before they can be sold, although there are limits to what they can claim to do. If you are thinking about taking nutritional supplements, talk to your healthcare team. They can help you decide which ones are safe to use, while avoiding those that might be harmful.

If the cancer comes back

If the cancer comes back at some point, your treatment options will depend on where the cancer is, what treatments you've had before, and your health. Surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, or a combination thereof may be options. Other types of treatment may also be used to relieve cancer symptoms.

For more information on treating cancer recurrence, seeTreatment options for cervical cancer according to stage. For more general information on dealing with relapses, you can also readCoping with cancer recurrence.

(Video) Cervical cancer survivor stories: Chris Chong Suet Yee

getting emotional support

It's normal to feeldepressed, anxious or worriedwhen cervical cancer is part of your life. Some people are more affected than others. But everyone can benefithelp and supportfrom others, friends and family, religious groups, support groups, career counselors or others. Learn more atlife after cancer.

Other tumors after treatment

Cancer survivors can suffer from many health problems, but often the main concern is dealing with cancer again. Cancer that returns after treatment is calledrepetition. But some cancer survivors may later develop a new, unrelated cancer. This is called a second cancer.

Unfortunately, treatment for cervical cancer does not mean you cannot get another cancer. Women who have had cervical cancer can still get the same types of cancer as other women. In fact, they may be at greater risk of certain types of cancer, including:

  • Mouth and throat cancer
  • Cancer of the larynx (voice box)
  • anal cancer
  • acute myeloid leukemia
  • scrotal cancer
  • vaginal cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Bladder and ureter tumors
  • Stomach cancer
  • a piece of thick police
  • pancreatic cancer

Many of these cancers are linked to smoking and/or infection.human papilloma virus (HPV)which are also strongly associated with cervical cancer.

Increased risk of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and cancer of the rectum, bladder andossoThey appear to be related to radiation treatment.

(Video) Tamara’s Story | Cervical Cancer Survivor | American Cancer Society

Can I reduce my risk of getting another cancer?

There are steps you can take to reduce your risk and stay as healthy as possible. For example, women who have had cervical cancer should do what they canstay away from tobacco products. Smoking can further increase the risk of some other types of cancer, which are more common after cervical cancer.

To makehelp maintain good health, cervical cancer survivors should also:

  • Get and maintain a healthy weight
  • Stay physically active and limit the time you spend sitting or lying down
  • Follow a healthy eating pattern that includes lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and limit or avoid red and processed meat, sugary drinks, and highly processed foods
  • it is better not to drinkalcohol. If you drink, do not have more than 1 drink per day

These steps can also reduce the risk of some other health problems.


Can you live a full life after cervical cancer? ›

more than 60 out of every 100 (more than 60%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after diagnosis. more than 50 women out of every 100 (more than 50%) will survive their cancer for 10 years or more after diagnosis.

What are the odds of cervical cancer returning? ›

Introduction. Uterine cervical cancer is one of the most common causes of female cancer-related death among women worldwide (1). The recurrence rates of cervical cancer are 11% to 22% and 28% to 64% for those with Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) stage IB-IIA and IIB-IVA disease, respectively (2).

What are the signs of cervical cancer coming back? ›

Symptoms of recurrence
  • Bleeding from your vagina between you periods or after sex.
  • Pain after sexual intercourse.
  • Discharge from your vagina.
  • Pelvic pain – pain in your lower abdomen (tummy)
  • Leg swelling – lymphoedema can also cause leg swelling, but it is important to get any new swelling checked out.
Jul 22, 2016

What are the long term side effects of cervical cancer treatment? ›

Long term side effects
  • Skin changes. Generally, radiotherapy can make body tissues become tighter and less elastic. ...
  • Changes to the ovaries. If you have not already had the menopause, your radiotherapy will cause an early menopause. ...
  • Changes to the vagina. ...
  • Swelling. ...
  • Bladder effects. ...
  • Bowel effects. ...
  • Bleeding.

How long do cervical cancer survivors live? ›

The 5-year relative survival rates for cervical cancer are as follows: When cervical cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, the 5-year relative survival rate is 91%. When cervical cancer is diagnosed after it has spread to nearby tissues, organs, or regional lymph nodes, the 5-year relative survival rate is 60%.

Can Stage 1 cervical cancer come back? ›

Approximately 95% of patients with stage IA cervical cancer survive without evidence of cancer recurrence 10 years after surgery or radiation therapy. Less than 5% of patients with stage IA cervical cancer experience recurrence.

When do most cervical cancer recurrences happen? ›

Approximately 80% of recurrences will manifest within 2 years of initial diagnosis, therefore it is important that women who have been diagnosed and treated for cervical cancer undergo regular surveillance with physical and pelvic exam and Pap smear for at least five years after diagnosis.

Which cancer has highest recurrence rate? ›

Which cancer has the highest recurrence rate? Cancers with the highest recurrence rates include: Glioblastoma, the most common type of brain cancer, has a near 100 percent recurrence rate, according to a study published in the Journal of Neuro-Oncology.

Where does cervical cancer usually recur? ›

Cervical cancer recurrences can be central pelvic, lateral pelvic and extra-pelvic (6,7). Central pelvic recurrence develops from the cervix and vagina after primary radiotherapy or from the vaginal cuff and central scar after radical hysterectomy.

Are you cancer free after radiation? ›

Cancer may sometimes come back after cancer drug treatment or radiotherapy. This can happen because the treatment didn't destroy all the cancer cells. Chemotherapy drugs kill cancer cells by attacking cells that are in the process of doubling to form 2 new cells.

How do you prevent cervical cancer from coming back? ›

The most important things you can do to help prevent cervical cancer are to get vaccinated against HPV, have regular screening tests, and go back to the doctor if your screening test results are not normal.

What are the second cancers after cervical cancer? ›

Among cervical AC survivors, significantly increased SIRs were observed for second cancers of the colon, rectum/anus, pancreas, trachea/bronchus/lung, bone, soft tissue, female genital sites, urinary bladder, and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL).

What damage does cervical cancer do to the body? ›

Complications associated with cervical cancer can range from the relatively minor, such as minor bleeding from the vagina or having to urinate frequently, to life-threatening, such as severe bleeding or kidney failure.

What is the quality of life of cervical cancer patients? ›

Cervical cancer survivors had higher score in emotional and social function, global health and pain. They also reported lower score in physical and role function, fatigue, appetite loss, and financial difficulties than their healthy peers.

What happens after cervical cancer is removed? ›

You might have some vaginal bleeding or pinkish or brown discharge for up to 6 weeks after your operation. The amount of discharge may increase about 10 to 14 days after the operation. This can last a few days and is a normal part of healing.

What happens after 5 year survival rate? ›

Cancer survival rates often use a five-year survival rate. That doesn't mean cancer can't recur beyond five years. Certain cancers can recur many years after first being found and treated. For some cancers, if it has not recurred by five years after initial diagnosis, the chance of a later recurrence is very small.

What is the average age for cervical cancer? ›

Cervical cancer is most often diagnosed between the ages of 35 and 44. The average age of diagnosis in the United States is 50. Over 20% of cervical cancers are diagnosed after age 65.

Where does cervical cancer spread to first? ›

The most common places for cervical cancer to spread is to the lymph nodes, liver, lungs and bones.

Can cervical cancer be fully cured? ›

Cervical cancer is curable, but it is difficult for doctors to know for sure that it will never come back following treatment. Therefore, doctors often use the term “remission” to describe cancer that has gone away and is no longer causing symptoms.

Can you beat cervical cancer twice? ›

Approximately one-third of patients with recurrent cancer will survive free of cancer after treatment with radiation therapy or pelvic exenteration. Other patients already have small amounts of cancer that have spread outside the pelvis and were not removed by surgery.

Is it hard to get rid of cervical cancer? ›

Cervical cancer is often treatable. The treatment you have will depend on: the size and type of cervical cancer you have.

What is the 2 week rule for cervical cancer? ›

An individual must be referred to colposcopy and should be seen within 2 weeks of referral (≥93% of cases) if the appearance of the cervix is suspicious or they have symptoms consistent with cervical cancer.

Can cervical cancer come back after total hysterectomy? ›

If these cancerous cells continue to spread, you can still develop cervical cancer even after the cervix is removed. In fact, one early study on the topic found that over 18 percent of patients who underwent a total radical hysterectomy for cervical cancer experienced a recurrence of the condition.

What percentage of cancer survivors get cancer again? ›

One to three percent of survivors develop a second cancer different from the originally treated cancer. The level of risk is small, and greater numbers of survivors are living longer due to improvements in treatment. However, even thinking about the possibility of having a second cancer can be stressful.

What is the best way to stop cancer recurrence? ›

The main way to reduce the chance of cancer recurrence is to have a good follow-up care plan, also called a survivorship care plan, with a health care team you trust. Knowing your health is being closely monitored can help reduce your fear of recurrence.

Which cancer has the lowest recurrence rate? ›

Low-risk childhood acute myeloid leukemia demonstrates low recurrence rates beginning at 9%. Abbreviations: ALL, acute lymphoblastic leukemia; AML, acute myeloid leukemia; DLBCL, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; PTCL, peripheral T-cell lymphoma; NSCLC, non-small cell lung cancer.

What causes cervical cancer to grow? ›

Long-lasting infection with certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV) is the main cause of cervical cancer.

What qualifies as a cancer survivor? ›

One who remains alive and continues to function during and after overcoming a serious hardship or life-threatening disease. In cancer, a person is considered to be a survivor from the time of diagnosis until the end of life.

What is the most common cancer after radiation? ›

Ionizing Radiation

Bone and soft-tissue sarcomas are the most frequent SMNs following radiation therapy, but skin, brain, thyroid, and breast cancers also can occur. Radiation doses less than 30 Gy tend to be associated with thyroid and brain tumors, whereas doses greater than 30 Gy can evoke secondary sarcomas.

Are cancer survivors cancer free? ›

The cancer may come back to the same place as the original primary tumor or to another place in the body. If you remain in complete remission for five years or more, some doctors may say that you are cured, or cancer-free.

What kills cervical cancer cells naturally? ›

A diet that is high in antioxidants, carotenoids, flavonoids and folate – all of which are found in fruits and vegetables – can help the body fight off HPV and also prevent an HPV infection from transforming cervical cells into cancerous lesions.

Do Pap smears prevent cervical cancer? ›

The HPV test and the Pap test can help prevent cervical cancer or find it early. The HPV test looks for the virus (human papillomavirus) that can cause cell changes on the cervix.

Which cervical cancer is rare and aggressive? ›

Small cell cervical cancer (SCCC) and large cell cervical cancer (LCCC) make up a rare subtype of cervical cancer. They are aggressive forms of a larger group of tumors called neuroendocrine cancers.

What is the common metastasis of cervical cancer? ›

About 1% to 2% of patients with cervical carcinomas present with lung metastases, and 5% to 35% eventually develop pulmonary metastases. Other common sites of blood-borne metastases include liver (3%),3 bone (16%),11 and bowel.

How long does it take to develop Stage 2 cervical cancer? ›

It can take years or even decades for the abnormal changes in the cervix to become invasive cancer cells. Cervical cancer might develop faster in people with weaker immune systems, but it will still likely take at least 5 years.

What organ is affected by cervical cancer? ›

Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in the cells of the cervix — the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina.

Can cervical cancer weaken your immune system? ›

When a tumor develops, the immune system may destroy some of these abnormal cells. However, cancer cells can alter their structure to make them undetectable, turn off immune cells, or change the surrounding normal cells such that they affect the immune system.

Can you get cervical cancer if you have no cervix? ›

Sometimes people have hysterectomies for other reasons, such as uterine fibroids or endometriosis. These individuals can later develop cervical cancer. However, if a person has a hysterectomy that removes the cervix, they cannot develop new cervical cancer.

What lifestyle changes for cervical cancer? ›

Cervival cancer can also be prevented by adopting a healthy lifestyle. Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, exercising regularly and quitting smoking may reduce your chances of getting this cancer.

What is the strongest risk factor for cervical cancer? ›

The most important risk factor for cervical cancer is HPV. HPV is a common infection. Most infections occur after people become sexually active, and most people clear the virus without problems. There are over 100 different types of HPV.

What is the most important prognostic factor for cervical cancer? ›

Spread of the cancer to the lymph nodes is one of the most important prognostic factors. Cervical cancer that has not spread to lymph nodes has a better prognosis than cervical cancer that has spread to lymph nodes.

How do you know if cervical cancer is back? ›

Symptoms of recurrence
  • Bleeding from your vagina between you periods or after sex.
  • Pain after sexual intercourse.
  • Discharge from your vagina.
  • Pelvic pain – pain in your lower abdomen (tummy)
  • Leg swelling – lymphoedema can also cause leg swelling, but it is important to get any new swelling checked out.
Jul 22, 2016

What treatment is needed after cervical cancer? ›

Most early-stage cervical cancers are treated with a radical hysterectomy operation, which involves removing the cervix, uterus, part of the vagina and nearby lymph nodes. A hysterectomy can cure early-stage cervical cancer and prevent recurrence. But removing the uterus makes it impossible to become pregnant.

Is all cervical cancer curable? ›

Cervical cancer is generally viewed as treatable and curable, particularly if it is diagnosed when the cancer is in an early stage. This disease occurs in the cervix, or the passageway that joins the lower section of the uterus to the vagina.

What happens to your body when you have cervical cancer? ›

If cervical cancer is undiagnosed and untreated, it will slowly spread out of the cervix and into the surrounding tissue and organs. The cancer can spread down to the vagina and the surrounding muscles that support the bones of the pelvis.

What kills cancer cells in the body? ›

Oncolytic viruses kill individual cancer cells, but studies also suggest that they can boost the immune system's ability to recognize and kill a tumor. The viruses enter tumor cells specifically and replicate, eventually breaking the cells apart.

Can you survive cervical cancer twice? ›

The prognosis for recurrent cervical cancer is poor. Overall, median survival after diagnosis of recurrence is 10-12 months. According to a review of GOG trials, factors that influence survival include performance status, race, interval between diagnosis and recurrence, and prior chemotherapy treatment.

What stage of cervical cancer is not curable? ›

Stage 4 cervical cancer is not curable in many cases. However, nearly 17 in 100 women will beat stage 4 cervical cancer. It is crucial to seek expert gynecologic oncology support in a high-quality healthcare system to determine the best course of action for you and your family.

What is the next step after being diagnosed with cervical cancer? ›

Most early-stage cervical cancers are treated with a radical hysterectomy operation, which involves removing the cervix, uterus, part of the vagina and nearby lymph nodes. A hysterectomy can cure early-stage cervical cancer and prevent recurrence. But removing the uterus makes it impossible to become pregnant.

Is cervical cancer curable at stage 3? ›

Cervical cancer can sometimes be cured when it's found in earlier stages. This is more difficult to do when it has reached more advanced stages, such as stage 3. However, it can still be managed with the goal of achieving remission.

Can you have kids after cervical cancer? ›

Unfortunately, after most treatment for cervical cancer, you won't be able to get pregnant. This is because you may have: surgery to remove your womb (a radical hysterectomy) radiotherapy as part of your treatment that affects the womb and may stop your ovaries working.

How long does it take cervical cancer to spread? ›

Cervical cancer develops very slowly. It can take years or even decades for the abnormal changes in the cervix to become invasive cancer cells. Cervical cancer might develop faster in people with weaker immune systems, but it will still likely take at least 5 years.


1. Latasha’s Story: HPV and Cervical Cancer
(Penn Medicine)
2. What is the Survival Rate for Cervical Cancer?
(Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center)
3. Miranda Ashman – Cervical Cancer Survivor Journey
(Roche Tissue)
4. Conquering Cancer: Fighting Cervical Cancer – Natalia's Story
(Conquering Cancer)
5. Conquering Cancer: Living with HIV/AIDS & Cervical Cancer – Loyce's Story
(Conquering Cancer)
6. Eliminating cervical cancer
(World Health Organization (WHO))


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