The incidence and mortality of cervical cancer have changed over the past 50 years in developed countries, but this kind of tumor still remains a significant clinical problem because it is the second most common cause of morbidity and mortality from cancer among women.
After histological confirmation of invasive cervical cancer, the extent of disease was determined using clinical criteria to assign a stage. This assessment is important because, while for the other gynecologic cancers clinical information obtained by surgery and histopathological examination is implemented and concurs to define the staging of the disease, the cervical cancer tumor stage is given after the primary diagnosis.
In this review we discuss how the surgical approach to cervical cancer has been evolved, in order to modulate the radicality of the intervention itself and thus to preserve the pelvic innervation. This step has been achieved by deepening knowledge of functional pelvic anatomy and modulating the radicality of hysterectomy according to well defined surgical landmarks.