Cervical Cancer

This is a radical hysterectomy specimen from a patient with a ‘bulky’ (large) squamous cervical cancer. The uterine body is at the top of the photograph, the cancer is the ‘cauliflower-like’ mass in the middle of the picture surrounded by a margin of vaginal tissue. This is an example of an ‘exophytic’ tumor (growing off of the surface of the cervix). Even though this cancer is rather large it is still classified as Stage 1 since it is grossly limited to the cervix at the time of presentation. If additional high-risk features (such as deep stromal invasion or high grade) are found on final pathologic review then this patient may require a combination of radiation and concurrently administered chemotherapy to optimize her likelihood of cure. Interestingly, even though a large margin of vaginal tissue must occasionally be removed in order to surgically manage large cervical cancer, sexual function is rarely altered.