Cervical Cancer

Recovery & Follow-Up

Regular followup exams - including a pelvic exam, a Pap test, and other laboratory tests - are very important for any woman who has been treated for precancerous changes or for cervical cancer. The doctor will do these tests and exams frequently for several years to check for any sign that the condition has returned.

Cervical cancer treatment may cause side effects many years later. For this reason, patients should continue to have regular checkups and should report any health problems that appear.

The outlook for women with precancerous changes of the cervix or very early cancer of the cervix is excellent; nearly all patients with these conditions can be cured. Researchers continue to look for new and better ways to treat invasive cervical cancer.

Cervical cancer patients and their families are naturally concerned about what the future holds. Sometimes patients use statistics to try to figure out their chances of being cured. It is important to remember, however, that statistics are averages based on large numbers of patients. They cannot be used to predict what will happen to a particular woman because no two cervical cancer patients are alike; treatments and responses vary greatly. The doctor who takes care of the patient and knows her medical history is in the best position to talk with her about her chance of recovery (prognosis).

Doctors often talk about surviving cancer, or they may use the term remission rather than cure. Although many women with cervical cancer recover completely, doctors use these terms because the disease can recur. (The return of cancer is called a recurrence.)

We care about your feedback. Let us know how we can improve your CancerCompass experience.