Cervical cancer treatment at GenesisCare

We specialise in the latest techniques for diagnosing and treating all types of cancer, including cervical cancer. We have teams of gynaecological oncologists and other specialists who are experts in this type of cancer. They work together to evaluate the most up-to-date treatments and procedures so we can offer you the best options without delay.

Chapter 1

Treatment overview

Each year around 3,200 women in the UK are diagnosed with cervical cancer - cancer of the neck of the womb. Diagnosing it early often allows for more treatment options and better outcomes.

Treatment typically depends on the size of the cancer, whether it’s spread to other parts of your body, and your general health.

As the UK’s leading specialist independent cancer care provider, we offer you first-class treatments that will be managed by a team of specialists in cervical cancer. You can be reassured that they’ll work closely with you to identify the best personalised care plan for your diagnosis.

Cervical cancer treatment options include surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, or a combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, which is sometimes shortened to chemoradiotherapy.

To help ensure the best outcomes are achieved for you, we combine your treatment with personalised integrative cancer care which is proven to improve outcomes. This includes a personalised programme of exercise medicine and access to a wellbeing expert and holistic therapies such as counselling, acupuncture, massage and reflexology through our unique partnership with the Penny Brohn UK charity.

It is our commitment to offer world-class cancer care to all of our patients, to achieve the best outcomes possible.

How is cervical cancer treated?

There are a number of treatment options available for cervical cancer. These include:

  • Surgery – which ranges from a very minor procedure to remove a piece of the cervix for early cervical cancer to more complex surgery to remove part or all of the womb
  • Radiotherapy – high-energy radiation beams maybe delivered externally and internally to destroy cancer cells while doing as little harm as possible to healthy cells.
  • Chemotherapy – anti-cancer (cytotoxic) drugs are used to destroy cancer cells.
  • Chemoradiotherapy – radiotherapy is often combined with chemotherapy to treat cervical cancer.

What if I’m pregnant?

If you’re pregnant and you are diagnosed with cervical cancer, our team of experts will carefully evaluate the cancer and offer you all treatment options that are available. They’ll then work with you to make sure all your questions are answered so you can decide what the best treatment options are for you.

Most women who are pregnant and diagnosed with cervical cancer are treated for early stage cancer. Research also suggests that cervical cancers spotted in pregnant women grow no more quickly and are no more likely to spread than cervical cancers in women who aren’t pregnant.

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If you have any questions you’d like to ask in confidence, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We’re here to help.
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Chapter 2

Diagnostics

We understand that this may be a very worrying time for you. Please remember that symptoms you may be experiencing can often be caused by other conditions, not only cervical cancer.

Through our first-class diagnostic services, our commitment is to give you all the answers you need and make sure you get expert care as quickly as possible.

If you’re concerned about cervical cancer symptoms, we offer specialist cervical cancer tests and diagnostics within our state-of-the-art centres. We also have a dedicated Rapid Access Gynaecology Clinic at our centre in Portsmouth, which often has appointments available within 48 hours.

You’ll see a top gynaecologist who is an expert in cervical cancer. They’ll assess your symptoms and decide if you need to be referred for diagnostic tests.

We know it can be challenging to juggle normal life with attending appointments, so we’ll always do our best to offer you appointments at times that suit you best.

How is cervical cancer diagnosed?

At a GenesisCare centre, you may undergo one or more of the following diagnostic tests if you are showing signs of cervical cancer.

Colposcopy

A microscope called a colposcope is used to carefully examine your cervix in detail. They may take a small sample of cells or a piece of tissue to be tested if any abnormal areas can be seen on the cervix. We use a computer assisted colposcopy system (DYSIS) which has been shown to improve the accuracy of colposcopy, even in experienced hands, when compared to traditional colposcopy.

LLETZ

LLETZ stands for large loop excision of the transformation zone. This procedure is usually done painlessly under a local anaesthetic in the clinic with electrical energy to remove abnormal tissue from the cervix.

 Cone biopsy

A small operation that involves the removal of a small, cone-shaped piece of tissue from the cervix. The procedure is usually done under a general anaesthetic (fully asleep) and may require an overnight stay.

Further cervical cancer tests

If initial tests show you do have cervical cancer, it’s likely you’ll need to undergo further diagnostic tests. These may include blood tests, X-rays, MRI scans, CT scans, PET/CT scans and an examination under anaesthetic. Our cervical cancer experts will answer all your questions about these tests and discuss the best options for you.

Cervical cancer diagnostics near you

0808 156 9565
To find your nearest GenesisCare centre offering first-class cervical cancer diagnosis services, please use our find your nearest centre or give us a call

You can also contact us to learn more about our Rapid Access Gynaecological Clinic at our centre in Portsmouth. You don’t need a GP referral and we often have appointments available within 48 hours.

Cervical cancer symptoms

Not everyone diagnosed with cervical cancer will have symptoms. This is why attending regular cervical screening is important.

Signs of cervical cancer can include:

  • heavier periods than normal
  • unusual vaginal bleeding
  • pain or discomfort during sex
  • vaginal discharge
  • vaginal bleeding after the menopause
  • urine infections that keep coming back
  • pain in the area between the hip bones (pelvis)

Please remember having one or more of the above symptoms doesn’t mean you have cervical cancer. These symptoms may be caused by other conditions. But if you are concerned about cervical cancer, you should speak to your GP or contact us to arrange an appointment.

Chapter 3

Surgery

Surgery is the main treatment for early-stage cervical cancer (stage 1, where it is confined to the cervix) and it’s also possible to treat some small stage 2A cancers (when the cancer has spread to the upper part of the vagina) with these operations.

Our cervical cancer specialists have close relationships with top surgeons from local and nationally renowned hospitals. They’ll work with them and other gynaecological experts to decide the best course of treatment for you. If your consultant recommends cervical cancer surgery, this can be arranged conveniently at one of our partner hospitals. You can then continue your other treatments at GenesisCare.

Your surgeon will recommend the most appropriate operation for you, depending on the size and stage of your tumour.

Chapter 4

Radiotherapy

Radiotherapy uses targeted, high-energy radiation beams to destroy cancer cells. For early-stage cervical cancer or cervical cancer that has grown outside the cervix but not spread to other body parts, the main treatment is external chemoradiotherapy. This is when radiotherapy is combined with chemotherapy. This is usually followed by internal radiotherapy, also known as brachytherapy.

At GenesisCare, we’re the leading private provider of radiotherapy in the UK and offer world-class expertise, state-of-the-art facilities and advanced radiotherapy techniques. Our latest-generation radiotherapy machines deliver highly targeted radiation beams with sub-millimetre accuracy, which makes them extremely effective and minimises the radiation dose to healthy tissues.

Our expert multidisciplinary teams (MDTs), consisting of oncologists, radiotherapists, and medical physicists, will oversee your radiotherapy treatment. By working closely together, they will put together a personalised treatment plan for you that ensures you always get the best possible care.

External radiotherapy for cervical cancer

Volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) is a modern radiotherapy technique that directs beams of radiation in an arc across the treatment area. Together with surface-guided radiotherapy (SGRT), it’s possible to precisely target areas of cancer, adjusting the beam and intensity of the radiation dose to allow for movements in the body and avoid healthy tissues.

Side effects of radiotherapy can occur when healthy tissue receives radiation, so using this technique helps to limit the dose to tissue and organs surrounding the tumour. At GenesisCare, we offer VMAT wherever possible because it is widely recognised to be the highest standard of care currently available for patients needing this type of radiotherapy.

We also offer palliative VMAT radiotherapy for those living with advanced cervical cancer (usually stage 4B), where it has spread elsewhere in the body. This type of treatment can help to reduce pain and increase mobility. We understand that fast access to palliative care is paramount, so we always do our best to provide treatment within 48 hours of a planning imaging scan.

How long does radiation treatment for cervical cancer take?
A course of external radiotherapy for cervical cancer usually lasts about five to eight weeks.

Internal radiotherapy for cervical cancer

Internal radiotherapy (brachytherapy) is usually administered after someone has been treated with chemoradiotherapy for early stage cervical cancer or locally advanced cervical cancer. It involves applicators (hollow tubes) being inserted into the vagina which give radiotherapy directly to the cervix and the area close by. It’s usually given as an inpatient procedure at a hospital.

Our consultant oncologists work closely with cancer specialists from locally and nationally renowned hospitals. So if your consultant recommends that you need internal radiotherapy, they’ll arrange this at one of our partner hospitals and ensure you receive the best possible treatment and care. You can then continue any further treatments at GenesisCare.

Side effects of radiotherapy

No treatment is without side effects. Your doctor will explain these to you before you start your course of radiotherapy. They will also discuss how your treatment plan and supportive care can help to manage or minimise these side effects.

Contact us

You can read more detail about our radiotherapy treatments below. If you’d like to find out more about your treatment options, contact us today for advice or to book an appointment.
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Advanced radiotherapy
Chapter 5

Drug treatments

At GenesisCare, we offer many of the newest drug therapies that can be used to treat and manage cervical cancer. Depending on how these treatments are given to you, you may need to attend one of our private chemotherapy suites which are staffed by our specialist nurses.

Our compassionate nursing teams are available 24/7 on a dedicated on-call telephone service, and they can answer any queries during your treatment. They can also provide advice about side effects and symptoms, and help to arrange appropriate medical care when needed.

There are different types of drug treatments, also called systemic anti-cancer therapies. Our expert teams continually review and assess new treatments to make these available to our patients as early as possible.
All GenesisCare centres have received the Macmillan Quality Environment Mark to reflect the quality of care we provide for people living with cancer.

Chemotherapy for cervical cancer

Chemotherapy uses cytotoxic (anti-cancer) drugs to destroy cancer cells. Chemotherapy for ­­­­­cervical cancer is usually delivered in combination with radiotherapy (chemoradiotherapy), although you can have it on its own. It may also be used to reduce the size of your tumour before surgery or treat cancer that has come back.

Targeted therapy for cervical cancer

Targeted (also called biological) therapies are a specialised group of drugs that are designed to attack or block specific processes in cancer cells that tumours depend on to survive and grow. It is typically used if cancer is advanced (stage 4) or come back after treatment.

Immunotherapy for cervical cancer

Immunotherapies work by helping your body’s own immune system to recognise and fight the cancer. Immunotherapy can be used for cervical cancer that has spread or come back.

Palliative care for cervical cancer

If your cancer has spread to other parts of the body, it’s called advanced, metastatic or stage 4 cervical cancer. At GenesisCare, you can receive palliative drug treatment for advanced cervical cancer to reduce the size and progress of your cancer and ease pain and other symptoms.

Personalised medicine for cervical cancer

For some advanced cancers, we use specialist tests, such as liquid biopsy or genomic testing, to understand the genetic make-up of cancer cells. This helps us to identify which drugs are available to work against specific genetic mutations in a cancer, allowing us to start effective treatment without delay.

There may also be opportunities to access clinical trials for the newest treatments for cervical cancer.

Side effects of drug treatment

No treatment is without side effects. Your doctor will explain these to you before you start your course of chemotherapy. They will also discuss how your treatment plan and supportive care can help to manage or minimise these side effects.

Chapter 6

Integrative care

At GenesisCare, we do more than just treat your cancer. Our integrative approach to cancer care means we develop personalised treatment plans for every one of our patients that offers them access to therapies that are proven to improve outcomes for people diagnosed with cancer. These therapies can play a significant role in helping you manage and cope with your cancer and any side effects caused by your treatment.

Exercise medicine

Research has shown that a personalised programme of carefully planned and supported physical activity can enhance the quality of life of cancer patients, limit the impact of cancer by improving strength and reducing fatigue, and ultimately lead to better outcomes.

One of our expert physiotherapists specialising in exercise for people living with cancer will provide you with a tailored 12-week programme supported by our dedicated GenesisCare Exercise Medicine app. The physiotherapist will also work closely with you to monitor changes in your health and support you throughout the programme, helping you achieve the best results. This service is available at selected GenesisCare centres.

Wellbeing

Through a unique partnership with the charity Penny Brohn UK, we offer all of our cervical cancer patients access to a wellbeing expert and holistic therapies either in-person or remotely. The therapies you could benefit from include counselling, acupuncture, massage and reflexology.

Chapter 7

Why choose us?

GenesisCare is the UK’s leading independent provider of cancer care, offering the latest innovations and techniques that are proven to be safe and effective. If you choose us for your cervical cancer treatment, you’ll be under the care of a team of experts, including gynaecological oncologists, surgeons and other cervical cancer experts.

Your care team will design a personalised care plan based around your diagnosis and preferences, with treatment starting within days, if needed. We also support every patient through their cancer journey with therapies such as exercise medicine and psychological support.

Our dedicated cancer centres are convenient and easy-to-access. You can use your private medical insurance, and we’re recognised by all leading insurers.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our priority is to continue to provide the very best cancer care. We have meticulous measures in place to ensure our patients receive the treatments they need safely and without delay. You can find out more about our COVID-19 safety measures here.

We are proud that so many of our patients rate the care they receive from us as “excellent”. Find out more about the high-quality experiences of people who have been diagnosed or treated at a GenesisCare centre in our patient stories section.

Book an appointment

Contact us today to book an appointment or speak to a member of our experienced and compassionate team about private cancer care and how we can help you.
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