Understanding Cervical Cancer and Its Side Effects

Cervical cancer starts in the cells lining the cervix (the lower part of the uterus). It was once one of the most common causes of cancer death for American women. But not anymore. The death rate from cervical cancer has decreased by more than 50 percent, thanks largely to the Pap test. This screening procedure can find changes in the cervix before cancer develops. It can also find cervical cancer early—in its most curable stage. In fact, today, cervical pre-cancers are diagnosed far more often than invasive cervical cancer.

Treatment options for cervical cancer

Should you be diagnosed with this disease, know that cervical cancer treatment in Illinois is close to home. At Alpha Med Physicians Group, we provide advanced treatments and therapies for cervical cancer. However, your options for treatment will depend on the stage (how far the cancer has spread or otherwise advanced) of the disease at the time of diagnosis.

Other factors that can affect your treatment choices are your age and your general health. Cervical cancer and its treatment can impact your sex life and your ability to have children. If you’re planning to start a family, consider the potential aftereffects of treatment as you make your decision. It’s possible that you may need more than one type of treatment, either in succession or in combination.

Some treatment options that may be available to you include:

  • Immunotherapy
  • Targeted therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation
  • Surgery
  • Clinical trials

Understanding the side effects of cervical cancer

You may have heard the stories about side effects like “chemo brain.” This is how cancer survivors refer to the thinking and memory problems associated with chemotherapy.

The side effects of cervical cancer treatment vary from chemotherapy to radiation to surgery. Chemo side effects can include fatigue, risk of infection, nausea and vomiting, hair loss, loss of appetite and diarrhea. If you’ve undergone radiation therapy, you may experience fatigue, mild skin reactions, upset stomach and loose bowel movements.

But there are ways to manage side effects, and for that, you should lean on your cancer care team for total support. One effective method is palliative care, which includes caring for your physical, emotional and social needs. Many women receive palliative care during their cancer treatment to ease some of the side effects. In fact, those who receive both at the same time often have less severe symptoms and enjoy a better quality of life.

More than four decades of cancer care excellence, right where you need it

Experience, board-certified oncologists, genetic testing and access to clinical trials, and location, location, location. At Alpha Med Physicians Group, we know that the most advanced oncology treatments are only effective if you can easily access them. At our locations in Tinley Park, Homewood, Palos Heights and the greater Chicago area, you’ll find advanced technologies and treatments. And you’ll meet a dedicated, compassionate team focused on providing your care with kindness, honesty and respect.

To learn more or schedule an appointment, call 708-342-1900 or click here to use our online form.