Some cervical cancer patients benefit from simpler hysterectomy.

A late-stage trial of women with low-risk cervical cancer indicated that a modest hysterectomy kept them cancer-free as well as a radical one. Some doctors call this "practice-changing."

The experiment, presented Friday at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in Chicago, also indicated that patients with simpler surgery had fewer problems and a greater quality of life.

Simple hysterectomy removes the uterus and cervix. The vagina, lymph nodes, ovaries, and fallopian tubes may be removed, but they usually stay. 

Laparoscopic surgery, in which a surgeon inserts a surgical instrument through a small skin incision, might be used to do the surgery.

The uterus, cervix, vagina, and surrounding tissues and ligaments are removed in a radical hysterectomy.

Surgery for early-stage cervical cancer is most common. The National Cancer Institute reports 80% cancer cure rates, although surgery has serious side effects.

Since such surgery can cause bladder and bowel issues and reduce sexual function, doctors have wondered if a less-invasive technique could prolong life and improve quality of life. 

More women are being diagnosed with cervical cancer earlier and younger due to better screening.

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