Cervical cancer specialists with Duke’s nationally ranked cancer program detect and treat cervical cancer, which is typically caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. Our gynecologic oncologists draw upon the latest research findings and our ongoing clinical trials to ensure you receive the best treatment for your condition. We also understand the impact cervical cancer can have on your fertility, sexual function, and psychological health as well as on your family, and we offer support services to help.
Gynecologic Experts in Cervical Cancer
Studies show that women with gynecological cancers who are treated by gynecologic oncologists -- obstetricians/gynecologists (OB-GYNs) who have additional years of training in cancers of the female reproductive system -- have better outcomes. Our gynecologic oncologists in Durham and Raleigh work with women with gynecologic cancers every day. We use our training and experience to tailor chemotherapy and surgical treatments to minimize cancer’s impact on your fertility and sexuality. We have dedicated radiation oncology expertise for treating cervical cancer. If surgery is needed, we are skilled in performing complex procedures on the reproductive system.
If you have been diagnosed with the type of HPV that increases your risk for cervical cancer, or your Pap test results suggest precancerous or cancerous cells, we work closely with you to look for suspicious changes in the cervix so treatment can be started at the earliest possible stage. Our overarching goal is to detect cervical cancer early, provide the treatment that's best for you, and increase your chances for a positive long-term outcome.
Duke Health offers locations throughout the Triangle. Find one near you.
If your primary care or OB-GYN doctor finds a positive result on your Pap test, or if you've been diagnosed with certain types of HPV, the following tests may be performed to obtain an accurate diagnosis. Many are performed in a doctor’s office. Some require a surgical procedure.
Blood and Tissue Testing
Performed to distinguish the type of tumor and direct treatment decisions.
A specially designed microscope looks for abnormal tissue in the cervix and surrounding vaginal area.
Transvaginal ultrasound, X-ray, CT, PET, and MRI scans may be used to create high-quality images of your cervix and surrounding organs. Used to pinpoint the location of your tumor and determine whether it has spread.
Removes tissue samples for examination under a microscope to look for cancerous or precancerous cells. A biopsy may be performed at the same time as a colposcopy exam. Biopsy options for cervical cancer include:
- Endocervical Curettage: A small sample of tissue is scraped from the canal of the cervix using a tool called a curette.
- LEEP (Loop Electro-Surgical Excision Procedure): A small wire heated with high-frequency energy is used to remove tissue samples for look for precancerous cells and invasive cancer.
- Cone Biopsy: Removes a larger, cone-shaped amount of tissue with a knife to determine if precancerous cells are present under the surface of the cervix.
Where you receive your cancer care is important. Duke University Hospital is proud of our team and the exceptional care they provide. They are why our cancer program is nationally ranked, and the highest ranked program in North Carolina, according to U.S. News & World Report for 2020–2021.
Why Choose Duke
Nationally Ranked Cancer Program
As a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, we are recognized for exploring new treatment opportunities through ongoing clinical trials. We offer you the latest research discoveries before they are available elsewhere.
Access to Our Clinical Trials
You may be eligible to participate in our ongoing clinical trials, which explore new therapies including chemotherapy drugs that slow or kill cancer cells, immunotherapy drugs that boost your body’s ability to fight cancer, and biologic therapies that block the systems that allow cancer to grow in your body.
Fertility Services for Cancer Survivors
If you are concerned about the impact of chemotherapy and/or radiation on your fertility, experts at the Duke Fertility Center work closely with you to discuss fertility preservation treatments, which may include egg freezing, tissue banking, and experimental options that are available through our ongoing clinical trials.
We schedule your appointments quickly, coordinate your schedule with your cervical cancer team, and work with you to develop the best treatment plan.
Support for Your Whole Being
Our comprehensive cancer support services range from helping patients minimize the side effects of treatment to coping with the emotional and psychological effects of diagnosis and treatment. View all of our cancer support groups in our event calendar.