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Cervical Cancer (cont.)

Cervical Cancer Prognosis

When precancerous or early cancerous changes are found and treated, the survival rate is close to 100%. The prognosis for invasive cervical cancer depends on the stage of the cancer when it is found.

The stage of a cancer is a measure of how far it has progressed, namely, what other organs or tissues have been invaded.

  • For the earliest stage of cervical cancer (0, IA), more than 90% of women survive at least five years after diagnosis.
  • Later stages of cervical cancer have a significantly worse outlook; 20% or fewer of women with stage IV cervical cancer survive five years.

These statistics are the reason that prevention is stressed in this disease.

  • Most women diagnosed with precancerous changes in the cervix are in their 20s and 30s.
  • The average age for true cervical cancer to be diagnosed is in the mid 50s.
  • This difference in the age at which precancerous changes are most frequently diagnosed and the age at which cancer is diagnosed highlights the slow progression of this disease and the reason why it can be prevented if adequate steps are taken.

Health care professionals 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. (The return of cancer is called a recurrence.)

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/28/2013

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The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Cervical Cancer:

Cervical Cancer - Diagnosis

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