Cervical Cancer – Overview

Cancer that starts in the tissue of the cervix is termed as cervix cancer. Cervix is the organ that connects the uterus with the vagina. A cancer that grows slowly and does not have much symptoms can be easily detected. In this article we discuss cervical cancer with the objective of obtaining general information.

As mentioned above cervical cancer starts in the tissue of the cervix. Before we learn more about this type of cancer affecting women, it is important to understand what is the cervix.

The Cervix

The lower portion of the uterus is known as the cervix. It is the organ that connects the uterus to the vagina. The uterus is the organ that houses the fetus. The portion of the cervix that is close to the uterus is termed as endocervix and the portion towards the vagina is termed as exocervix. The cervix is covered by two types of cells – squamous cells (on the exocervix) and glandular cells (on the endocervix). The place where these cells meet are termed as transformation zone.



Cervical Cancer – From Pre-Cancerous Cells to Cancerous Cells

Cervical cancers start in the transformation zone and in most cases pre-cancerous cells are developed that change into cancerous cells. Change from normal to pre-cancerous cells can be detected through a PAP Smear Test. Pre-cancerous cells can of three types –

  • Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia (CIN),
  • Squamous Intraepithelial Lesion(SIL), and
  • Others

Cervical Cancer – Types


Cells are observed under a microscope to determine their type. The two main types of cancers affecting the cervix are:

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  • Squamous cell carcinoma

Most of the women diagnosed with cancer of the cervix are found to have this type of cancer. This generally begins in the transformation zone.


Cancers of the cervix that develop from glands are termed as Adenocarcinomas. The mucus producing glands are present in the endocervix.

Other less common type of cancers show features of both types discussed above.

All women with pre-cancerous cells may not develop cancer. It is a slow growing cancer that may take years to reach the stage of cancer though in some cases it may be rapid. Even though pre-cancerous cells go away without treatment, it is important to treat all types of cervical cancers.

The month of January is dedicated to creating awareness about cervix cancer.

cervix ribbon

Please note: The above information does not suffice for medical advice in any manner.

References: http://www.cancer.gov, http://www.cdc.gov, http://www.webmd.com/women/picture-of-the-cervix

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  • A lawyer by profession, social worker and a fighter against cancer