Stage 2 means the cancer has spread outside the cervix, into the surrounding tissues.
The main treatments are surgery and a combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy (chemoradiotherapy).
What is stage 2 cervical cancer?
The stage of a cancer tells you how big it is and whether it has spread. It helps your doctor decide which treatment you need.
Doctors use the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) staging system for cervical cancer. There are 4 stages, numbered 1 to 4.
Stage 2 means the cancer has begun to spread outside the neck of the womb (cervix) into the surrounding tissues. But it has not grown into the muscles or ligaments that line the pelvis (the area between the hip bones), or to the lower part of the vagina.
It can be divided into:
- stage 2A
- stage 2B
In stage 2A the cancer has spread down into the top of the vagina. It can be divided into:
- stage 2A1
- stage 2A2
Stage 2A1 means the cancer is 4 cm or less.
Stage 2A2 means the cancer is more than 4 cm.
In stage 2B the cancer has spread up into the tissues around the cervix.
The stage of your cancer helps your doctor to decide which treatment you need. Treatment also depends on:
- your type of cancer (the type of cells the cancer started in)
- where the cancer is
- other health conditions that you have
Stage 2A cervical cancer might be treated with:
- combined chemotherapy and radiotherapy (chemoradiotherapy)
Stage 2B cervical cancer is usually treated with chemoradiotherapy.
You might have surgery if you have a stage 2A cervical cancer.
Surgery usually means that you have your womb and cervix completely removed (radical hysterectomy). Your doctor also removes the lymph nodes around your cervix and womb (pelvic lymph nodes). This is because there is a risk the cancer may have spread from the cervix to the nearby lymph nodes.
Combined radiotherapy and chemotherapy (chemoradiotherapy)
With this treatment, you have chemotherapy during your course of radiotherapy.
You have daily external radiotherapy for 5 days every week, for around 5 weeks. You also have a boost of internal radiotherapy (brachytherapy) at the end of your course.
During your course of radiotherapy, you also have chemotherapy once a week or once every 2 or 3 weeks. This depends on the chemotherapy drugs you have.