Cervical Cancer (Cancer of the Cervix)

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Quick GuideCervical Cancer Symptoms, Stages, and Treatment

Cervical Cancer Symptoms, Stages, and Treatment

What is the prognosis and survival rates for women with cervical cancer?

As with most cancers, the outlook (prognosis) is better for cancers that are detected in early stages than for advanced cancers. Prognosis for cancers is often reported in 5-year survival rates. Currently, survival rates for cervical cancer are based on patients who were diagnosed years ago, so these rates may be different in people diagnosed today and receiving modern treatments. It is also important to note that many people with cancer live far beyond 5 years, and these rates include death from any cause, not just the cancer being studied.

The 5-year survival rates by stage for cervical cancer are as follows:

  • Stage I: 80% to 93%
  • Stage II: 58% to 63%
  • Stage III: 32% to 35%
  • Stage IV: 15% to 16%

Survival rates are based on examinations of large groups of people and do not reflect the outcome or expected course for any one individual patient. Many other factors, including overall health status and the response of a cancer to treatment, can affect the prognosis for a specific patient.

What research is being done on cervical cancer?

Research is ongoing, not only to improve methods to treat cervical cancer, but also to improve methods of treating precancers and detecting cancers in early, treatable stages.

Drug treatments, including the application of antiviral medications to the cervix, are being studied as an alternative or complement to surgical management of precancerous changes in the cervix.

For existing cancers, new targeted therapies are always being studied. Testing of HPV vaccines continues to determine whether vaccines may be able to help a woman's immune system fight off an existing HPV infection.

Clinical trials are an option for many cancer patients. Clinical trials are research studies that involve actual patients, looking at new treatments or combination of treatments for a condition. Your doctor can help you decide if a clinical trial might be right for you.

A listing of clinical trials that are available for all types of conditions around the world can be found at ClinicalTrials.gov.

REFERENCES:

American Cancer Society. "Cervical Cancer."

National Cancer Institute. "Cervical Cancer."

World Health Organization. "Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and Cervical Cancer."

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/4/2016

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