Objective. The purpose of this article is to objectively evaluate the merits of surgery and radiotherapy in the treatment of women with early stage carcinoma of the uterine cervix. Design. Retrospective review of the literature. Results. Surgery and radiotherapy are both utilized in the treatment of women with carcinoma of the uterine cervix. Either surgery or radiotherapy can be used in the treatment of patients with early stage disease (carcinoma in situ, stages Ia to IIa). However, moderate controversy surrounds the issue of standard therapy for women with stages Ib and IIa cervical cancer. There is no evidence that both treatments should be utilized together for that group. Quality of life and survival outcomes are excellent for women with early stage cervical cancer treated with radiotherapy. Women with stages Ib2 and IIa disease should receive primary radiotherapy rather than surgery in order to avoid the possibility of also requiring postoperative irradiation and its associated costs and complications. The standard treatment for women with advanced stages (IIb, III, and IVa) of carcinoma of the uterine cervix is radiotherapy; surgical therapy is not utilized for these women. Adjuvant chemotherapy has not demonstrated a survival advantage and remains experimental. Conclusion. Surgery and radiotherapy are utilized in the treatment of patients with carcinoma of tile cervix. Selection criteria should be developed to guide individualized patient treatment.