They do this using radiotherapy and brachytherapy. The team also treat patients with cervical, vaginal and vulval cancer using chemotherapy and other systemic treatments.

The team always tailor treatment to each individual patient and their disease. Any decisions include the patient’s referring gynaecologist.

Other people involved in the diagnosis and planning of care are radiologists and pathologists. A radiologist is a doctor who is specially trained to interpret diagnostic images such as X-rays, MRI, CT and PET CT scans. A pathologist is a doctor who studies the microscopic structure of tissue and cells.

All patients have their cancer diagnosis and their individual plan discussed in a multidisciplinary meeting.

Treatments

For some patients, the aim of treatment is to cure the cancer. For these patients, radiotherapy, with or without chemotherapy or brachytherapy, will be the main treatment.

Patients can also have further treatment after having surgery for the cancer. In these cases, the aim of treatment is to get rid of cancer cells to help prevent the cancer coming back. Radiotherapy or brachytherapy, with or without chemotherapy, can be used. This is called an adjuvant treatment.

For some patients, it is not possible to completely get rid of the cancer or cure them of their disease. In this situation, the aim of treatment is to shrink the cancer and reduce symptoms caused by the cancer. This can potentially prolong life and improve patients' quality of life. 

In these cases, patients may be offered a choice of treatments depending on their individual situation, their overall health and their wishes. All of the options available to them will be discussed. Treatments may be radiotherapy, brachytherapy, chemotherapy or other systemic anti-cancer treatments.

Research

In some cases, a trial may be suitable for the patient’s circumstances and will be discussed by the consultant. This might involve many different things - for example, a completely new treatment or a different way of giving an existing treatment or new way of imaging the cancer. The Christie is a centre that is actively engaged in research.