Cervical cancer

Alternative Names

Cancer – cervix

Definition of Cervical cancer

Cervical cancer is cancer that starts in the cervix, the lower part of the uterus (womb) that opens at the top of the vagina. 

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Worldwide, cervical cancer is the third most common type of cancer in women. It is much less common in the United States because of routine use of Pap smears.

Symptoms

Most of the time, early cervical cancer has no symptoms. Symptoms that may occur can include:

Signs and tests

Precancerous changes of the cervix and cervical cancer can not be seen with the naked eye. Special tests and tools are needed to spot such conditions.

Treatment

Treatment of cervical cancer depends on the stage of the cancer, the size and shape of the tumor, the age and general health of the woman, and her desire to have children in the future.

Expectations (prognosis)

Many factors influence the outcome of cervical cancer. These include: 

Review

Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 12/27/2009

Cervical biopsy
Cervical neoplasia
The Pap smear
Cervical cancer
Cervical cancer

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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