What is Cervical Cancer?
What is cervical cancer?
Cervical cancer begins in the cervix, which connects the vagina and the uterus. Long-term infection with high-risk HPV is the main cause of cervical cancer. When high-risk HPV infections persist, this can cause normal cervical cells to change and become abnormal, and they may develop into cancer over time. That said, this abnormal tissue can be detected through screening and therefore removed before it has the chance to become cancer.
There are two main types of cervical cancer:
- Squamous cell carcinomas are the most common type. They account for 70-80% of all cervical cancers. These cancers develop from cells on the exocervix, and begin in the transformation zone (where the opening of the cervix and outer part of the cervix meet).
- Adenocarcinomas are the second most common type. These cancers develop from mucus-producing (glandular) cells in the endocervix (inner part of the cervix).