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What Is Metastatic Cervical Cancer?

Metastatic cervical cancer occurs when cancer cells from the cervix spread to other parts of the body. This progression can lead to various symptoms and requires targeted treatment strategies. Understanding its impact is crucial for effective management. Curious about how this condition evolves and the treatment options available? Dive deeper into the journey of metastatic cervical cancer with our enlightening visual guide.
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

A woman receives a metastatic cervical cancer diagnosis when she has cancer that started in the cervix but has spread to affect other parts of the body. Unfortunately, this can be a frightening diagnosis due to the fact that metastatic cancers are more difficult to treat than those that affect just one part of the body. When a woman has metastatic cervical cancer, the malignancy has spread to other organs and sometimes the lymph nodes. For example, this diagnosis might mean the cancer has spread from the cervix to affect the vagina, the wall of the pelvis, the bladder, or the intestines. In its most serious stage, metastatic cancer can also affect more-distant organs, such as the patient’s lungs or brain.

There are two basic types of cervical cancer. In one type, the cancer cells are confined to the cervix. In the other type, however, the cancerous cells spread and affect the patient’s lymph nodes, various tissues of the body, and other organs. When cancer of the cervix spreads to other parts of the body, it is often referred to as metastatic cervical cancer.

Women with cervical cancer have a much better chance of survival if the cancer is detected before it metastasizes.
Women with cervical cancer have a much better chance of survival if the cancer is detected before it metastasizes.

In the earliest stage of cervical cancer, the malignant cells that develop are confined to the patient’s cervix, but in time, they might begin to spread. For example, in Stage II cervical cancer, cancerous cells spread to the upper part of the vagina and move toward the pelvic wall. In Stage III, they might move on to the lower portion of the vaginal canal and invade the pelvic wall. As the cancer progresses, it can move on to the patient’s bladder or other organs that are close to the cervix. Eventually, cancerous cells could travel far enough to invade the patient’s brain, lungs, or other distant body organs.

The spread of cervical cancer is also assessed based on the spread of cancer to the lymph nodes. Usually, in the earliest stages of the disease, cervical cancer does not spread to affect the lymph nodes. It may do so in the later stages, however.

Cancer-fighting drugs and surgery are two treatment options for metastatic cervical cancer.
Cancer-fighting drugs and surgery are two treatment options for metastatic cervical cancer.

Doctors often use a range of treatments for metastatic cervical cancer. For example, doctors might use cancer-fighting drugs, surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy to treat metastatic cervical cancer. Often, however, the life expectancy of a woman with this type of cancer is poor, and some treatment approaches might be focused on keeping the patient comfortable for the rest of her life.

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a TheHealthBoard writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

Learn more...
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a TheHealthBoard writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

Learn more...

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    • Women with cervical cancer have a much better chance of survival if the cancer is detected before it metastasizes.
      By: javiindy
      Women with cervical cancer have a much better chance of survival if the cancer is detected before it metastasizes.
    • Cancer-fighting drugs and surgery are two treatment options for metastatic cervical cancer.
      By: Africa Studio
      Cancer-fighting drugs and surgery are two treatment options for metastatic cervical cancer.
    • In some cases, advanced cervical cancer metastasizes to the brain or other major organ.
      By: WavebreakmediaMicro
      In some cases, advanced cervical cancer metastasizes to the brain or other major organ.
    • A woman receives a metastatic cervical cancer diagnosis when she has cancer that started in the cervix but has spread to affected other parts of the body.
      By: pankajstock123
      A woman receives a metastatic cervical cancer diagnosis when she has cancer that started in the cervix but has spread to affected other parts of the body.
    • Cervical cancer doesn't usually spread in its early stages.
      By: joshya
      Cervical cancer doesn't usually spread in its early stages.
    • Inhaling cigarette smoke can significantly increase a woman's risk of cervical cancer.
      By: illustrez-vous
      Inhaling cigarette smoke can significantly increase a woman's risk of cervical cancer.
    • Chemotherapy may be helpful in treating metastatic cervical cancer.
      By: prudkov
      Chemotherapy may be helpful in treating metastatic cervical cancer.
    • Doctors often use a range of treatments for metastatic cervical cancer.
      By: jovannig
      Doctors often use a range of treatments for metastatic cervical cancer.