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Cervical Cancer


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World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Cervical Cancer Elimination

On Nov. 17, 2021, the WHO announced that Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center is the first-of-its-kind collaborating centre for cervical cancer elimination. We are proud to be working with the WHO and global partners to generate solutions critical to achieve the key targets for cervical cancer elimination.

The cervix is the lower, narrow part of the uterus that leads to the vagina and outside the body. Cervical cancer starts in the cervix  —  usually slowly, over time. There is often confusion between cancer and pre-cancer, and we have the expertise to provide an accurate diagnosis. 

Our team includes a gynecologist who specializes in treating precancerous lesions and works closely with gynecologic oncologists to prevent or treat early cancers, as well an expert team of radiation oncologists.

Although most cervical cancer is caused by an HPV infection, not all women with HPV infection develop this cancer. Women who are not regularly tested for HPV or abnormal cells in the cervix are at increased risk. There is a growing awareness of vaccines to prevent HPV in girls, young women, and boys. Transgender males who still have a cervix can develop cervical cancer.

Why Choose Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center?

Sylvester is an NCI-designated cancer center. The National Cancer Institute has recognized Sylvester for its outstanding work conducting research in its laboratories, treating patients in its clinics and hospitals, and reaching out to medically underserved communities with innovative prevention strategies.

A dedicated Dysplasia Clinic. The Dysplasia Clinic at Sylvester offers screening, diagnosis, and treatment for pre-invasive diseases of the lower genital tract, including anal dysplasia in both men and women. We offer a wide range of services to prevent cancer, including comprehensive care, education, and HPV and dysplasia counseling.

The leading South Florida center for robotic gynecologic surgery. Our leading-edge technology gives us pinpoint precision for tumor removal. Robotic-assisted surgery offers greater control and allows our surgeons to remove tumors and leave as much normal tissue as possible.

Care designed with women in mind. We provide research-backed care that’s customized to each woman’s needs, with greater convenience. We offer advanced, in-office procedures, the latest diagnostic tests for fast results, and access to comprehensive women's health services for women of all ages.

Questions? We're here to help.

Our appointment specialists are ready to help you find what you need. Contact us today.


The Dysplasia Clinic at Sylvester offers diagnosis and treatment for pre-invasive diseases of the lower genital tract, as well as screening and treatment of anal dysplasia in men and women.

Clinical services are available to any woman diagnosed with cervical, vaginal or vulvar dysplasia. Any woman with an abnormal cervical Pap smear may also be eligible for evaluation. Clinical services are also available for the screening and treatment of anal dysplasia in men and women.

Services include:

  • Timely, efficient care for all women with abnormal cervical Pap tests and men and women at risk for or with anal dysplasia
  • Evaluation, treatment and management of cervical, vaginal, vulvar, and anal dysplasia
  • HPV and dysplasia counseling

  • Conization

    This process involves removing a cone-shaped piece of tissue from the cervix and cervical canal. It may be used to treat carcinoma in situ and stage 1 cervical cancer. The tissue can be removed with a scalpel, a laser, or with a loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP). The LEEP approach uses a thin, wire loop with an electrical current to remove abnormal tissue or cancer.

  • Robotic Surgery

    Sylvester gynecologic oncologists are experts in the use of robotic surgery for cervical cancers and have performed thousands of procedures. The advanced technology gives your surgeon greater control and precision, which can offer less pain and a faster recovery. Your surgical team monitors you throughout the procedure and is ready to assist as needed. Today, nearly 80 to 90 percent of the hysterectomy surgeries are performed robotically. In some instances, ovary function can be preserved.

    • Total hysterectomy: The surgeon removes the patient's uterus and cervix. This may be accomplished through the vagina, an abdominal incision, or laparoscopically through several small incisions. Often the function of the ovaries can be preserved, so talk to your doctor.
    • Radical hysterectomy: In this procedure, the surgeon removes the uterus, cervix, upper vagina, and parametrium, along with regional lymph nodes. Talk to your doctor, because the ovaries may not have to be removed.
    • Radical trachelectomy: This highly specialized procedure can be used to treat women with early-stage cervical cancer, who still want to bear children. After the cervix is removed, the patient's uterus is attached to the remaining part of her vagina, and a stitch is created to act as the cervix and the opening to the uterus.
  • Sentinel Node Biopsy

    The sentinel lymph node is the initial spot the cancer is likely to spread to from the tumor. A dye injected near the tumor flows through the lymph ducts to the lymph nodes. The first lymph node to receive the dye is removed. A pathologist looks at the tissue under a microscope to check for cancer cells. If cancer cells are not found, it may not be necessary to remove more lymph nodes. Advances in technology have caused sentinel node detection to be 95 percent or greater.

    Sylvester’s radiation oncologists use the most advanced technology to deliver radiation externally or internally to cervical tumors.

  • Your radiation oncologist will discuss which treatment is appropriate for your cancer.

  • Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy

    With this therapy, we use special equipment to position you to deliver radiation directly to tumors. The total amount of radiation is given over several days in smaller doses. This limits damage to normal tissue. Experts are studying this type of radiation therapy in clinical trials for recurrent cervical cancer.

  • Brachytherapy

    In this type of localized radiation, a high-dose concentration of radiation immediately surrounding the radioactive source, with a rapid fall-off of radiation exposed to adjacent tissues. In cervical cancer, the radiation source is applied with an intrauterine applicator or a vaginal ring. For locally advanced cervical cancer, chemoradiation, chemotherapy combined with both external and brachytherapy radiation have been found effective.

  • Chemotherapy

    Chemotherapy is a combination of cancer-fighting medicines that can be administered intravenously (in a vein) or with a pill to kill any remaining cancer cells. Most chemotherapy for cervical cancer is provided along with radiation therapy.

  • Targeted Therapy

    Targeted therapies designed to attack the molecular alterations that make the cancer cell grow and spread. These treatments have the potential to be more effective and with fewer side effects than chemotherapy. Several targeted therapies have been approved by FDA.


Every new patient exam at Sylvester starts with a physical exam and history. Your doctor will ask you about your medical history, your symptoms, risk factors, and family history of disease. That will be followed by the following exams or tests:

  • Pelvic Exam

    A small instrument is inserted into your vagina so the doctor can look at your vagina and cervix for signs of disease. Your doctor will more than likely conduct a Pap test of your cervix at the same time. The doctor may also insert one or two lubricated, gloved fingers into the vagina and feel the lower abdomen to check the size, position, and shape of the uterus and ovaries.

  • Pap Test

    Your specialist will use a small brush or spatula to gently remove cells from your cervix to check for cervical cancer or cell changes that may lead to cervical cancer, including infections or inflammation.

  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Test

    This is a laboratory test that checks for certain types of HPV infection. Your pathologist will check the DNA or RNA from the cells, taken during the Pap test, to discover if an infection is caused by a type of HPV linked to cervical cancer.

  • Endocervical Curettage and Colposcopy

    A lighted microscope instrument, a colposcope, is used to check the vagina and cervix for abnormalities. Tissue samples are collected using a spoon-shaped instrument, a curette, and checked for signs of cancer.

  • Biopsy

    If we find abnormal cells from a Pap test, your doctor may take a sample of tissue from the cervix and viewed under a microscope by a pathologist to check for signs of cancer. It may be done in the doctor's office, or you may need to go to the hospital for the removal of a larger, cone-shaped sample.

    When the surgeon has the needed tissue, the pathology team will run additional tests on the biopsied tissue to determine:

    • If the growth is cancerous or pre-cancerous
    • If cancer, how quickly it may grow and how likely it is to spread through the body
    • How well certain treatments might work: Genomic tumor profiling, also called somatic DNA testing, is the driver for precision medicine. It looks at your tumor’s molecular signature to identify characteristics indicating how aggressive it is and what types of treatment will work best. Through this genomic profiling, your pathologist can identify groups of mutations in your tumor tissue sample and create a tumor profile for your specific cancer. The genomic profile can be used to select a targeted therapy specific to your cancer’s molecular characteristics.

Accepted Insurances

Note: Health plans that are currently contracted with UHealth are listed below. However, please check with your insurance provider to verify that UHealth is part of your provider network.