Cervical Cancer Treatment in Pregnancy
A small number of cervical cancers are found in pregnant women. Most of these (70%) are stage I cancers. The treatment plan during pregnancy is determined by:
- Tumor size
- If nearby lymph nodes have cancer
- How far along the pregnancy is
- The specific type of cervical cancer
If the cancer is at a very early stage, such as carcinoma in situ (Stage 0) or stage IA, most doctors believe it is safe to continue the pregnancy to term and have treatment several weeks after birth. Surgery options after birth for early-stage cancers include a hysterectomy, radical trachelectomy, or a cone biopsy.
If the cancer is stage IB or higher, then you and your doctor must decide whether to continue the pregnancy. If not, treatment would be radical hysterectomy and/or radiation. Sometimes chemotherapy can be given during the pregnancy (in the second or third trimester) to shrink the tumor.
If you decide to continue the pregnancy, the baby should be delivered by cesarean section as soon as it is able to survive outside the womb. More advanced cancers typically need be treated immediately.
The treatment information given here is not official policy of the American Cancer Society and is not intended as medical advice to replace the expertise and judgment of your cancer care team. It is intended to help you and your family make informed decisions, together with your doctor. Your doctor may have reasons for suggesting a treatment plan different from these general treatment options. Don’t hesitate to ask him or her questions about your treatment options.