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Cervical Cancer

Living With Cervical Cancer

Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - 18:11

Even when cervical cancer is not life-threatening, the consequences of the disease can be life-changing. Women with cervical cancer are confronted with potentially overwhelming physical and emotional changes. It is beneficial to have:

  • An understanding partner
  • A supportive network of family and friends
  • Additional valuable support from healthcare personnel, counselors, clergy, and other cervical cancer survivors

After treatment with surgery, radiation, and/or chemotherapy, the woman's oncologist (cancer specialist) will provide a detailed schedule of follow-up visits. These visits may include further evaluation with:

  • Imaging studies such as x-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Biopsies (removal of tissue for examination)
  • Blood tests

Follow-up testing helps to determine whether the woman remains cancer-free or needs additional treatment.

Healthy living habits also can speed the recovery process and reduce the likelihood that cancer will recur. For example, a woman who has had cervical cancer should:

  • Not smoke
  • Avoid excessive alcohol use
  • Exercise as soon and as much as permissible
  • Choose a diet that includes low-fat, high-fiber foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains (Physicians may recommend a low- fiber diet for women who experience diarrhea or cramping as a result of radiation therapy)

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