Outlook and support for cervical cancer
For cervical cancer, the survival rate is close to 100% when precancerous or early cancerous changes are found and treated. The prognosis for invasive cervical cancer depends on the stage of the cancer when it is found.
According to Cancer Research UK almost two-thirds of patients survive cervical cancer for 10 years or more after diagnosis. The NHS emphasises that if the cancer is still at an early stage the outlook will usually be very good and a complete cure is often possible. The NHS also says 80-99% of women with stage 1 cervical cancer will live at least 5 years after receiving a diagnosis and around 1 in 5 women with the most advanced type of cervical cancer will live at least 5 years.
It is also important to note that no statistics can tell you what will happen to you. Your cancer is unique and so are you. The same type of cancer can grow at different rates in different people. The statistics are not detailed enough to tell you about the different treatments people may have had and how their treatment may have affected the outlook for them.
Chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and surgery may help women with cervical cancer live longer, as well as relieving their symptoms. If you are fit enough to have treatment, you are likely to do better than average, particularly if your cancer is more advanced.
Doctors who treat cancer often use the term "remission" rather than "cure." Although many women with cervical cancer recover completely, medical professionals sometimes avoid the word "cure" because the disease can recur.
Around 3,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer in the UK each year. It is the most common cancer in women under 35 years old. Most women diagnosed with precancerous changes in the cervix are in their 20s and 30s.
More than 50% of new cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed in women under the age of 50. This difference in the age at which precancerous changes are most frequently diagnosed and the age at which invasive cancer is diagnosed highlights the slow progression of this disease and the reason why it can be prevented if adequate steps are taken.
Support groups and counselling for cervical cancer
Living with cervical cancer presents many new challenges for you and for your family and friends. You will probably have many worries about how the cancer will affect you and your ability to "live a normal life", that is, to care for your family and home, to hold down your job, and to continue relationships, friendships, and activities you enjoy.
Many people feel anxious and depressed. Some feel angry and resentful, while others feel helpless and defeated.
For most people with cancer, talking about their feelings and concerns can help. Your friends and family members can be very supportive. They may be hesitant to offer support until they see how you are coping. Don't wait for them to bring it up.