Cervical cancer

Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2012 Jun;26(3):293-309. doi: 10.1016/j.bpobgyn.2011.12.004. Epub 2012 Feb 19.


Standard treatment for invasive cervical cancer involves either radical surgery or radiotherapy. Childbearing is therefore impossible after either of these treatments. A fertility-sparing option, however, by radical trachelectomy has been shown to be effective, provided that strict criteria for selection are followed. Fertility rates are high, whereas recurrence is low, indicating that a more conservative approach to dealing with early small cervical tumours is feasible. Careful preoperative assessment by magnetic resonance imaging scans allows accurate measurement of the tumour with precise definition to plan surgery. This will ensure an adequate clear margin by wide excision of the tumour excising the cervix by radical vaginal trachelectomy with surrounding para-cervical and upper vaginal tissues. An isthmic cerclage is inserted to provide competence at the level of the internal orifice. A primary vagino-isthmic anastomosis is conducted to restore continuity of the lower genital tract. Subsequent pregnancies require careful monitoring in view of the high risk of spontaneous premature rupture of the membranes. Delivery by classical caesarean section is necessary at the onset of labour or electively before term. Over 1100 such procedures have been carried out vaginally or abdominally, resulting in 240 live births. Radical vaginal trachelectomy with a laparoscopic pelvic-node dissection offers the least morbid and invasive route for surgery, provided that adequate surgical skills have been obtained.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / drug therapy
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / surgery*
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Directive Counseling
  • Female
  • Fertility Preservation*
  • Humans
  • Lymph Node Excision
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Neoadjuvant Therapy
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / therapy*
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Organ Sparing Treatments / methods*
  • Patient Selection
  • Pelvis
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / surgery*