Brachytherapy is a type of internal radiation. It involves placing a radiation source into your vagina or cervix. The radiation source is left in place for a short time and then removed. You have several treatments that are scheduled once or twice a week.
Overview and risk factors
About cervical cancer
At UW Health, we treat cervical cancer through the UW Carbone Cancer Center. It’s the only comprehensive cancer center in Wisconsin.
We provide support and the most advanced treatments available. We are one of only a few centers in the U.S. who offer trachelectomy, a cervical cancer treatment for potential candidates that keeps your uterus intact if you hope to one day carry a child.
HPV and cervical cancer
Infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is spread through sex, is the main cause of cervical cancer. If you’re infected with HPV, these factors may add to your risk of developing cervical cancer:
Giving birth to more than two children
Long-term use of birth control pills
Other risk factors include:
Being sexually active at a young age
Having a weakened immune system
Having many sexual partners
Getting an HPV vaccine can help prevent cervical cancer.
Tests and prevention
Screening for prevention and early detection
Cervical cancer is a disease we can find early, thanks to screening. Screening may even prevent some cancers from occurring. If tests find abnormal cells in your cervix, we can treat them before they turn into cancer.
Screening tests include the Pap test and human papillomavirus (HPV) testing. We may use these tests alone or together. In most cases, screening should begin when you are 21 and continue until you are at least 65. Learn more about screening.
Treatments and research
Fighting cancer with every available tool
Methods and studies that support treatment
Your treatment may depend on how advanced your cancer is. Factors such as your general health and your goals and preferences are considered as well. In many cases, you’ll receive more than one type of therapy.
Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. These drugs travel throughout your body. They treat cancer cells in your cervix and those that may have escaped to other parts of your body.
Abdominal radical hysterectomy is a procedure that removes your uterus, cervix and part of the vagina through an incision in your lower abdomen. Surgeons may also remove the ovaries, fallopian tubes and nearby lymph nodes.
Trachelectomy is surgery to remove your cervix. It does not remove your uterus. The surgery preserves your ability to have a child should you chose to. Not everyone is a candidate for Trachelectomy. UW Health is one of only a few places in the country to offer this procedure.
View clinical trials available at UW HealthFind a clinical trial
To help you feel comfortable during your stay at the UW Carbone Cancer Center, we invite you to learn about our facility and the services we offer.
Meet our team
Specialized care you don’t find everywhere
If you have cervical cancer, you’ll receive expert care from gynecologic, medical and radiation oncologists at UW Health. They make sure you get the treatments that are just right for you.
Joining your doctors are physician assistants, nurses and health psychologists. Others include genetic counselors, registered dietitians and chaplains. They work together to attack your cancer and help you have the best quality of life during and after treatment.
Care close to home
The UW Carbone Cancer Center provides care throughout Wisconsin and Northern Illinois. Not all cancers will be treated at every location, however we will make every effort to connect you with care at a location convenient to you.
UW Carbone Cancer Center
The experts at the UW Carbone Cancer Center intimately understand every type of cancer. We will get to know you and design a treatment plan that works for you and your family.