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Cervical Cancer Center

Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer
The number of cases of cervical cancer and resulting fatalities have been on the decrease in the past 40 years. This decline largely is the result of regular Pap tests, which screen for cervical pre-cancer before it turns into cancer. But what is cervical cancer? And what part of the body does it affect?

What is cervical cancer?
The uterus is made up of two parts. The upper part, called "the body of the uterus", is where a baby grows. The lower part, called the "cervix, connects upper part to the vagina, or birth canal. Cervical cancer occurs when abnormal cells on the cervix grow out of control. There are two main types of cervical cancer

  1. Adenocarcinoma develops from the glandular cells that line the cervical canal (endocervix). Adenocarcinoma starts in the cervical canal and can be more difficult to detect using cervical screening tests.
  2. Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common type of cervical cancer, and develops from flat cells that cover the outer surface of the cervix at the top of the vagina.

Cancer of the cervix usually takes many years to develop. Before it does, the cells in the cervix often show changes, known as cervical intra-epithelial neoplasia (CIN). This precancerous cell stage is also sometimes known as dyskariosis. If left untreated, CIN can develop into cervical cancer. However, the majority of women with CIN do not develop the disease.

Cervical cancer can be traced to a particular virus...but what is this cause? And which women are at risk of developing this types of cancer.  Learn how you can avoid risk factors for cervical cancer as well as more about hpv and cervical cancer here.

NEXT: Causes and Risk Factors >>