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Gynecologist talking to patient about cervical cancer treatments

Getting started

Your treatment begins with your Legacy Cancer Institute doctor recommending a plan based on expert guidelines, called protocols. 

Your treatment is determined by:

  • The type of tumor
  • The location of the tumor
  • The extent of the disease, called the stage
  • Any tests you have had during diagnosis
  • A discussion about what is right for you

Meet our providers

Our team features some of the region’s most recognized specialists. Give us a call to make an appointment. Learn more about our gynecological cancer care team.

503-413-8654 (Oregon)  
360-703-9870  (Washington)

Cervical cancer treatment options

Surgery is the removal of the cancer. For cervical cancer, there are many common options:

  • Conization is removing a cone-shaped piece of the cervix to allow a pathologist to examine it. This procedure, also called a cone biopsy, can be used in treatment and in diagnosis.

  • Hysterectomy is the removal of both the cervix and uterus and surrounding organs or tissue.

  • Trachelectomy  removes cervix, surrounding tissues  and the upper part of the vagina, but not the uterus or ovaries.

  • Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy removes the ovaries and fallopian tubes.

  • Pelvic exenteration removes the lower colon, rectum, bladder as well as the cervix, vagina, ovaries and nearby lymph nodes.

  • Lymphadenectomy removes the nearby lymph nodes to assess spread.

  • Sentinel lymph node biopsy is the removal and examination of the sentinal lymph node to see if cancer has spread. A positive result means cancer may be present in other lymph nodes or organs.

Legacy Cancer Institute surgeons are trained in minimally invasive techniques, including robotic surgery. These methods help you to recover more quickly from procedures such as hysterectomy.


  • Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays or other radiation to kill cancer cells. Radiation can be one of two types:

    • External radiation uses a machine outside the body and aims radiation toward the cancer. Learn more about radiation therapy.

    • Brachytherapy uses a radioactive material placed in the body, directly in contact with the tumor, so healthy tissues have less exposure to radiation. Legacy’s technologically advanced brachytherapy program is the largest and most experienced in the region. Learn about brachytherapy.


  • Immunotherapy uses the body’s own immune system to treat cancer (also called biologic therapy). Substances from the body or made in a lab are used to trigger an immune response. They boost, restore or direct your own natural defense against cancer. Learn more about immunotherapy.

Talk to your doctor about these and other options for treating cervical cancer. There may also be a clinical trial (research study) for which you are eligible. Researchers are discovering new therapies for treating cancer all the time, giving doctors new resources for your care.

What happens next

Many cancer treatments can cause challenging side effects. Your cancer team is dedicated to helping you manage these symptoms in the best ways possible. Comfort care can treat symptoms to help improve your quality of life; this is also called palliative care.
To see how well your treatment is working, some of the tests used to diagnose and stage your cancer may be repeated. Your doctor uses these tests to decide whether to stop, change or continue treatment based on the results. These tests can also determine if cancer has returned. Whenever possible, we work to stop the growth of cancer and reduce the chance of cancer coming back.  

Working together for you

Our cancer experts work together with a common goal: delivering the right care for you. A range of specialists collaborate regularly in meetings called tumor boards to discuss the best plan for your care. Your treatment plan is made just for you, depending on your general health, your age, your particular cancer and its growth.

More support

You are not alone. Legacy offers support throughout your cancer journey, as well as care for your emotional, social and spiritual needs.

Nurse navigators
Legacy Cancer Healing Center 
Support groups and classes
Cancer rehabilitation 
Survivorship services

Meet our providers

Our team features some of the region’s most recognized specialists. Give us a call to make an appointment. Learn more about our gynecological cancer care team.

503-413-8654 (Oregon)  
360-703-9870  (Washington)