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Cervical Cancer Treatment (PDQ®)

Patient Version

Cervical Cancer During Pregnancy

General Information About Cervical Cancer During Pregnancy

Treatment of cervical cancer during pregnancy depends on the stage of the cancer and how long the patient has been pregnant. A biopsy and imaging tests may be done to determine the stage of the disease. To avoid exposing the fetus to radiation, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is used.

Treatment Options for Cervical Cancer During Pregnancy

Carcinoma in Situ (Stage 0) During Pregnancy

Usually, no treatment is needed for carcinoma in situ (stage 0) during pregnancy. A colposcopy may be done to check for invasive cancer.

Stage I Cervical Cancer During Pregnancy

Pregnant women with slow-growing stage I cervical cancer may be able to delay treatment until the second trimester of pregnancy or after delivery.

Pregnant women with fast-growing stage I cervical cancer may need immediate treatment. Treatment may include:

Women should be tested to find out if the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes. If cancer has spread to the lymph nodes, immediate treatment may be needed.

Stage II, III, and IV Cervical Cancer During Pregnancy

Treatment for stage II, stage III, and stage IV cervical cancer during pregnancy may include the following:

  • Chemotherapy to shrink the tumor in the second or third trimester of pregnancy. Surgery or radiation therapy may be done after delivery.
  • Radiation therapy plus chemotherapy. Talk with your doctor about the effects of radiation on the fetus. It may be necessary to end the pregnancy before treatment begins.
  • Updated: April 2, 2015