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How to talk to a doctor about advanced ovarian cancer >>

Cervical Cancer

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Cervical cancer starts in the cells of the cervix. The cervix is the opening of the uterus.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

Tests:

A CT or MRI may be used to show the location and size of the cancer. You may be given contrast liquid to help the cancer show up better. Tell the healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast liquid. Do not enter the MRI room with anything metal. Metal can cause serious injury. Tell the healthcare provider if you have any metal in or on your body.

Treatment:

Treatment may decrease your symptoms or stop the cancer from spreading. Your treatment may change if your cervical cancer grows or spreads:

  • A trachelectomy is surgery to remove the cervix and upper vagina. It may be an option if you have early stage cervical cancer and want to give birth to a child in the future.
  • A hysterectomy is surgery to remove your uterus. Your fallopian tubes and ovaries also may be removed. Healthcare providers may also remove nearby lymph nodes.
  • Radiation therapy uses high-energy x-ray beams to kill cancer cells.
  • Chemotherapy is medicine that kills cancer cells.

Nutrition:

If you have trouble swallowing, you may be given foods that are soft or in liquid form. Ask about any extra nutrition you may need, such as nutrition shakes or vitamins. Tell your healthcare provider if you have problems eating, or if you are nauseated.

RISKS:

Your ovaries may stop working after radiation treatment. You may have problems urinating or having a bowel movement. Sex may be difficult or painful. Cancer may come back, even with treatment. Cervical cancer can spread to other body areas, such as the bladder. You may also develop a blood clot in your arm or leg. This may become life-threatening.

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

© 2015 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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