Practical measures

Going to the check-ups

When you have finished your treatment for cervical cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. you will need to have regular check-ups to make sure that the cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. has not come back.

If you have any symptoms that worry you between check-ups, you should get in touch with your specialist immediately. Don't wait for your next check-up. It is particularly important that you report any pain, vaginal bleeding or digestive or urinary problems.

Check-ups will usually involve a physical examination and a cervical screening test or colposcopy. They may also include:

  • Blood test
  • X-rays
  • CTA scan that generates a series of cross-sectional X-ray images. (computerised tomographyA scan that generates a series of cross-sectional X-ray images.) scan
  • Liver ultrasound.

Some women find check-ups stressful, but it is very important to attend. You may like to take a friend or family member along. Your check-ups are also a good opportunity to talk to your specialist about any worries or questions you may have.

Coping with a hysterectomy

Having a hysterectomyThe surgical removal of the uterus (womb). can be a life-saving measure for women who have been diagnosed with cervical cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body.. However, it is an operation that can have a significant psychological and physical impact.

It may be helpful for you find someone to talk to, who can help you through the process. There are several specialist organisations that offer support to women who have to undergo a hysterectomyThe surgical removal of the uterus (womb). - see the Around the world directory.

It may also be helpful to ask your doctor what local support is available to you and how you can access this.

Following hysterectomyThe surgical removal of the uterus (womb)., there are many simple exercises that you can do to help your body to recover from the operation and to help you to regain your overall fitness in the weeks following your surgery. See the quick guide on hysterectomy.

Fertility

Many women with cervical cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. have questions about how the illness and treatment will affect their fertility. To what extent your fertility will be affected will depend on how advanced your cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. is and what treatment you have. Your doctor will be able to advise you when you are choosing treatments.

Healthy eating

Women who have been diagnosed with any type of cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. also need to take care of their general physical and emotional health. Getting enough rest and eating a healthy diet can help a woman to recover more quickly from the side-effects of treatment.

Exercise

Women having cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. treatment may experience symptoms such as pain, rapid heart rate or shortness of breath that means they need to take sufficient rest during the day. It is also important, however, to try and exercise, gently at first, to rebuild your strength.

Physical activity can help to improve function, strength and range of motion, and to stave off depression. As a result, many cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. care teams now encourage their patients to be as physically active as possible during cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. treatment.

Complementary therapies

Complementary therapies may help many people with cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body., for example by alleviating the side-effects of conventional medical treatment, although it is important to note that none of these therapies have been shown to alter the course of the condition itself. It is important to speak with your doctor about any therapies you try as some, such as herbal remedies, may interfere with conventional treatment.

More about complementary therapies for cervical cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body..

Counselling and support

Women who have access to a telephone counselling service have been shown not only to benefit from being able to talk to people with experience of cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. and its treatment, but also to have improved responses to anti-tumour treatment.

The findings point to the importance of a 'mind-body' connection for surviving cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. with a better quality of life.

Women who have had cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. report many troubling factors that may undermine their quality of life. They may be concerned about future fertility or cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. recurrence. They may worry about how the cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. diagnosisThe process of determining which condition a patient may have. is affecting their friends and family.

Some women even blame themselves for getting the disease in the first place.
Having a strong support system of family and friends is very important. Talking to a professional counsellor can also be very valuable at this time.

It may also be helpful to contact organisations that specialise in helping people live with cervical cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body..

Now 17 years on, I really know the long-term impact cervical cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. has on your life, and what it is to live with the treatment Coral

Physical appearance

Some women are concerned about the effect that cervical cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. and its treatment may have on their appearance. Although you may experience changes to the way you look, there are many tried and tested techniques to help women to regain their sense of confidence in their appearance when undergoing cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. treatment.

Sex life

Many women are concerned about the impact that cervical cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. might have on their sex life. It is hard for some women to get back to enjoying their sexuality and associating their bodies with pleasure and intimacy again. Some women will need time to adjust physically after their treatment. Some women worry about the effects of the cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. and its treatment on their relationship with their partner. It may be helpful to speak to other women who have been through diagnosisThe process of determining which condition a patient may have. and treatment to hear how they coped.

Coping with pain

The degree of pain that you may experience when living with cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. varies greatly from person to person. Many people experience little or no pain and many others receive excellent pain management with the help of their doctor and other health professionals. It is very important, if you are experiencing painful symptoms, that you speak to your doctor as soon as possible. The earlier you get treatment, the easier it is to manage pain. There is no need to suffer in silence, as there are many effective pain relief treatments that are available for cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. patients.

Living with a terminal prognosis

Although cervical cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. is a treatable condition, for some women, particularly when the cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. is diagnosed in its later stages, treatment is no longer able to cure the disease, although there are many treatments that can help you to deal with symptoms.

Coping with a terminal prognosis is a devastating challenge and you, and those close to you, may wish to get specialist support at this time. Your doctor should be able to advise you of counselling and help groups available in your local area.

It may also be helpful to contact organisations directly that specialise in helping people live with cervical cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body..