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Health Agencies Update
March 17, 1999

Cervical Cancer

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JAMA. 1999;281(11):978. doi:10.1001/jama.281.11.978-JHA90001-4-1

Armed with persuasive data from five new studies, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) is recommending an important change in how invasive cervical cancer is treated, urging physicians to strongly consider adding chemotherapy to radiation therapy rather than treat with surgery or radiation alone.

Each of the five studies enrolled several hundred women with cervical cancer that had spread locally or regionally. According to a clinical announcement that the NCI mailed last month to thousands of physicians, combining radiation with chemotherapy improved the 3-year survival rate, reducing the risk of death by 30% to 50%.