Purpose This retrospective study compared the efficacy and survival of patients with cervical adenocarcinoma (IB2/IIA2; FIGO2009) treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy before radical surgery (NACT + RS), neoadjuvant chemoradiation therapy before radical surgery (NACRT + RS), or primary radical surgery (RS). Methods Between January 2008 and November 2015, 91 patients diagnosed with stage IB2/IIA2 cervical adenocarcinoma were enrolled, including 29 patients who received RS, 24 patients who received NACT + RS, and 38 patients who received NACRT + RS. Results The characteristics of patients were balanced among the three groups, and the median follow-up time was 72 months. The 5 year disease-free survival (DFS) rate was 75.8% and the 5 year overall survival (OS) rate was 85.0%. Univariate analysis revealed that effectiveness of neoadjuvant treatment, tumor size, lymph node metastases, and depth of stromal invasion were the factors predicting recurrence and mortality. Multivariate Cox proportional analysis revealed that the occurrence of a lymph node metastasis was an independent prognostic factor of DFS (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.223; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.060–0.827) and OS (HR = 0.088; 95% CI: 0.017–0.470). On survival analysis of preoperative adjuvant chemotherapy and primary surgery, the 5 year OS ( P = 0.010) and DFS ( P = 0.016) rates for the NACRT + RS group were significantly lower than those for the RS group. Conclusion Stage IB2/IIA2 cervical adenocarcinoma patients who received primary RS had a better DFS and OS than those who received preoperative NACRT. There was no significant difference when compared to the preoperative NACT group.