Cervical Cancer: Survivorship & Support

In our Survivorship Center, we describe the support services available to you and your family during and after the treatment process.

With the introduction and popularization of the Pap smear screening test, the number of women with invasive cervical cancer has fallen dramatically in the United States and other industrialized countries. Advanced cases do occur, however, and we understand that fighting and coping with the aftereffects of treatment can be overwhelming.

Follow-Up Care

After treatment for cervical cancer at Memorial Sloan Kettering, your doctor will likely want to see you periodically for regular Pap smears as well as pelvic and other examinations — and can also help you in managing any complications.

For example, some women who have been treated for cervical cancer experience early onset of menopausal symptoms such as irregular periods, hot flashes, drying or thinning of vaginal tissues or bladder tissues, insomnia and fatigue, and memory problems. We can provide counseling and treatments to help you — and also work to keep your heart and bones as healthy and strong as possible.

Fertility and Sexual Health

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Cancer-related menopause can cause physical and emotional changes, says psychologist Jeanne Carter.

Memorial Sloan Kettering's comprehensive care of women with cervical cancer involves physicians, nurses, psychologists, and social workers with expertise in treating fertility issues and addressing parenthood concerns that can arise before and after treatment.

Sexual health complications, such as vaginal dryness or pain during intercourse, may also occur and can, in turn, affect feelings about and the desire for sex. If you experience any of these common problems, you may wish to consider speaking with one of the counselors in our Female Sexual Medicine and Women’s Health Program, who are experienced at helping women work through and find solutions to these issues. 

Rehabilitation

Depending on the extent of your treatment for cervical cancer, you may also benefit from rehabilitation or physical therapy.

Our rehabilitation specialists can help you improve your balance, pain, coordination, endurance, flexibility, and range of motion. At Memorial Sloan Kettering, these services are available to patients in the hospital and as outpatients, throughout your treatment and recovery.

Physical therapy in particular may be useful if you had any lymph nodes removed during surgery, which sometimes leads to a condition called lymphedema, in which excess fluid collects in tissue and causes swelling, usually in the groin area. 

Our therapists can help you manage these symptoms, reduce the swelling, and care for the skin in the affected area, as well as help you regain mobility after surgery.

Resources for Life After Cancer

The Resources for Life After Cancer program provides a full range of educational support services, including individual and family counseling, periodic lectures or workshops to provide medical updates, and practical guidance on employment and insurance issues.

Memorial Sloan Kettering Counseling Center

Our Counseling Center offers individual and family counseling sessions to help cancer patients and survivors, as well as family members, address the social and emotional issues they may encounter in adjusting to life during and after treatment.

Integrative Medicine Service

Our Integrative Medicine Service complements mainstream medical care by addressing the physical and emotional symptoms associated with cancer and its treatment. We offer a number of therapies including various types of massage, acupuncture, hypnotherapy, meditation, visualization and other mind-body therapies, music therapy, and nutritional counseling, as well as classes such as yoga, t'ai chi, and chair aerobics.