Treatments for stage 2 cervical cancer

The following are treatment options for stage 2 cervical cancer. Your healthcare team will suggest treatments based on your needs and work with you to develop a treatment plan.


Chemoradiation is a main treatment for stage 2 cervical cancer. Chemotherapy is given during the same time period as radiation therapy to make the radiation therapy more effective. Chemoradiation may be given after surgery.

Cisplatin or cisplatin plus 5-fluorouracil (Adrucil, 5-FU) is the chemotherapy that is used. If cisplatin is used, it is usually given one time each week during the radiation therapy schedule. If cisplatin plus 5-FU is used, it is usually given every 4 weeks during radiation therapy.


You may be offered surgery for stage 2 cervical cancer. The type of surgery you are offered will depend on many factors, including your age, the stage and if you want to become pregnant.

Radical hysterectomy

A radical hysterectomy with removal of lymph nodes in the pelvis and samples of lymph nodes in the back of the abdomen may be offered for stage 2A cervical cancer. It may be offered to women who do not want to become pregnant in the future. Radiation or chemoradiation may be given after a radical hysterectomy.

Lymph node dissection

You may have a lymph node dissection to remove the pelvic lymph nodes for stage 2B cervical cancer, followed by radiation therapy alone or chemoradiation.

Find out more about a hysterectomy and a lymph node dissection.

Radiation therapy

You may be offered radiation therapy for stage 2 cervical cancer. It is used as the main treatment if you can’t have surgery or choose not to have surgery. It is also used after surgery if there are cancer cells in or close to the edges of the removed tissue, in blood vessels or lymph vessels in the removed tissue or in lymph nodes.

External radiation therapy may be given alone or with intracavitary brachytherapy (a type of internal radiation therapy) for stage 2 cervical cancer. Women who have radiation therapy will often have both external radiation therapy and brachytherapy. In most cases radiation therapy is given with chemotherapy (chemoradiation), but in some cases it may be used alone.

Radiation therapy is usually given 5 days a week for 6 to 7 weeks. Brachytherapy is usually given after external radiation therapy or chemoradiation.

Clinical trials

Talk to your doctor about clinical trials open to women with cervical cancer in Canada. Clinical trials look at new ways to prevent, find and treat cancer. Find out more about clinical trials.

Expert review and references

  • American Cancer Society. Cervical Cancer. 2016:
  • Klopp AH, Eifel PJ, Berek JS, Konstantinopoulos PA . Cancer of the cervix, vagina and vulva. DeVita VT Jr, Lawrence TS, Rosenberg SA. Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology. 10th ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2015: 72:1013-1047.
  • Kunos CA, Abdul-Karim FW, Dizon DS, Debernardo R . Cervix uteri. Chi DS, Dizon DS, Berchuck A, and Yashar C (eds.). Principles and Practice of Gynecologic Oncology. 7th ed. Philadelphia: 2017: 20: 467 - 510.
  • National Cancer Institute. Cervical Cancer Treatment (PDQ®) Health Professional Version. 2018:
  • Oleszewski K . Cervical cancer. Yarbro CH, Wujcki D, Holmes Gobel B, (eds.). Cancer Nursing: Principles and Practice. 8th ed. Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning; 2018: 50: 1397 - 1421.