Cervical Cancer
(Cancer of the Cervix)

Cervical cancer facts*

*Cervical cancer facts medical author:

  • Causes and risk factors for cervical cancer have been identified and include human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, having many sexual partners, smoking, taking birth control pills, and engaging in early sexual contact.
  • HPV infection may cause cervical dysplasia, or abnormal growth of cervical cells.
  • Regular pelvic exams and Pap testing can detect precancerous changes in the cervix.
  • Precancerous changes in the cervix may be treated with cryosurgery, cauterization, or laser surgery.
  • The most common symptoms and signs of cervical cancer are abnormal vaginal bleeding, increased vaginal discharge, bleeding after going through menopause, pain during sex, and pelvic pain.
  • Cervical cancer can be diagnosed using a Pap smear or other procedures that sample the cervix tissue.
  • Chest X-rays, CT scan, MRI, and a PET scan may be used to determine the stage of cervical cancer.
  • Cancer of the cervix requires different treatment than cancer that begins in other parts of the uterus.
  • Treatment options for cervical cancer include radiation therapy, surgery, and chemotherapy.
  • Two vaccines, Gardasil and Cervarix, are available to prevent HPV infection.
  • The prognosis of cervical cancer depends upon the stage and type of cervical cancer and the tumor size.
Female Illustration - Cervical Cancer
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/10/2014

Patient Comments

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Cervical Cancer - Risk Factors Question: Did you have any of the risk factors for cervical cancer at the time of your diagnosis? If so, what were they?
Cervical Cancer - Symptoms Question: What symptoms did you experience with cervical cancer?
Cervical Cancer - Treatments Question: What treatment has been effective for your cervical cancer?
Cervical Cancer - Share Your Experience Question: Did you have cervical cancer or a precancerous cervical condition? Please share your experience.
Cervical Cancer - Diagnosis Question: Please discuss the tests or exams that led to a diagnosis of cervical cancer.
Cervical Cancer - Share Surgery Experience Question: Did you have a surgical procedure to treat cervical cancer or a precancerous condition? Please share your experience.
Get the facts on the HPV virus and the cervical cancer vaccine.

Who Should Get the HPV Vaccine?

Ideally, vaccination should occur before youth become sexually active, since those who have not yet been infected with any HPV types will get the full benefit of the vaccine. Therefore, it is recommended by the CDC that 11- to 12-year-old girls receive three doses of either vaccine. Young women ages 13 through 26 should get the vaccine if they did not receive any or all doses when they were younger. Gardasil is also approved for use in males aged 9 to 26. The CDC recommends Gardasil for all boys aged 11 or 12 years, and for males aged 13 through 21 years who did not receive the full three vaccination series.


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