The cervix, also called the neck of the uterus, is located at the bottom of a woman’s uterus and connects to the top part of her vagina.
Cervical cancer is a serious disease caused by certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.
HPV (human papillomavirus) infections can cause changes in the cells of the cervix. People can get HPV through skin-to-skin genital contact, usually during sex. Most people who have HPV don’t know they have it or that they can pass it to their partner. HPV can damage the cells of the cervix to make them change. Cells that are damaged, but are not cancer, are called “abnormal cells,” “pre-cancerous cells,” or “dysplastic cells.” Over time, these cells can become cancer.
Cervical cancer usually does not have symptoms at first.
A woman usually does not know she has cervical cancer until the cancer has spread to other parts of her body. Some symptoms of cervical cancer can include: unusual bleeding from the vagina; pain during sex; vaginal discharge; pain in the pelvis, back, or leg; and fatigue (feeling very tired).
Your health care provider will recommend one of the many available treatments options.
Your options for treating cervical cancer will depend on things like how far the cancer has spread, if you want to have children in the future, and other medical conditions. Visit the Cervical Cancer – Additional Resources & Links page for more information.