STEP 6: Managing recurrent, residual and metastatic disease

Detection: Patients with metastatic or recurrent cervical cancer are commonly symptomatic. Some cases of recurrent disease will be detected by routine follow-up in a woman who is asymptomatic.

Treatment: Where possible, refer the woman to the original multidisciplinary team. Treatment will depend on the location, the extent of recurrence, previous management and on the woman’s preferences.

Palliative care: Early referral can improve quality of life and, in some cases, survival. Referral should be based on need, not prognosis.

Communication: The lead clinician should explain the treatment intent, likely outcomes and side effects to the woman/carer.