Cervical Cancer Overview

Cervical cancer is the only gynecologic cancer that can be prevented by regular screenings and vaccination. Worldwide, cervical cancer is the third most common type of cancer in women, usually affecting those between the ages of 30 and 35. It is much less common in the United States because of the availability of Pap tests that screen for precancerous and cancerous changes of the cervix.

Cervical cancer arises from the cervix, which is the lower part of the uterus that attaches to the top of the vagina. It can originate from the skin like cells on the outside of the cervix (squamous cancer) or from the gland-like cells in the inside of the cervix (adenocarcinoma). Cervical cancer is caused by abnormal changes in either of these cell types in the cervix.