Written by Avinash Ramani, M.S. (Biotechnology) , Aishwarya Radhakrishnan | 
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Lakshmi Venkataraman, MD on Aug 20, 2020

What is Cervical Cancer?

Cancer is a disease caused by the uncontrolled growth and proliferation of cells. Cancer that affects the lining of the cervix, which is the lower part of the uterus, is known as cervical cancer.

The cells lining the cervix comprises of two types, the squamous or flat cells and the columnar cells.

The region in the cervix where there is a transition from one cell type to another is called the squamo-columnar junction. This is the area that is most prone to develop cancer. Cancer of the cervix develops gradually and becomes full-blown over a period of time.

Cervical cancer is mostly caused by Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). The risk factors for cervical cancer includes

  • Smoking
  • Unprotected sex
  • Having many children
  • Prolonged use of birth control pills
  • Having HIV infection.

A Pap-smear test is done to find out any changes occurring in the cervical cells before they turn into cancer; the sample for the test is obtained from the squamo-columnar junction.

Treatment depends on the stage of the cancer. Cervical cancer treatment may involve surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation.

What is Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia?

The abnormal changes that the cervical cells develop transform them to a pre-cancerous state, which is referred to as 'Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia' (CIN).

Based on its degree or intensity, and the thickness of the epithelium involved, these changes are classified as

  • Low grade CIN
  • High grade CIN

This may eventually progress to form a localized cancer. The cancer later spreads beyond the epithelium to involve adjacent tissues and even distant organs.

Normally it affects middle age women who are sexually active.

What is New in Cervical Cancer?

1. Automated Technology Improves Cervical Cancer Screening

Using a completely automated technology can increase cervical screening coverage with high-quality in underserved regions, reveals a new study. Automated cervical screening is feasible and can improve cervical screening coverage in underserved regions.

How is Cervical Cancer Transmitted?

Cervical cancer is not in itself a sexually transmitted disease, but is usually the consequence of infection and epithelial damage from a sexually-transmitted virus. Over 99 percent of all cervical cancers are the consequence of damage by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Two HPV types (16 and 18) cause 70% of cervical cancers and precancerous cervical lesions.

HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease, affecting literally millions of women each year with new cases. But only a small subgroup of these women goes on to get cancer. HPV is mainly transmitted through sexual contact and most people are infected with HPV shortly after the onset of sexual activity. Cervical cancer is caused by sexually acquired infection with certain types of HPV.

What are the Histological Types of Cervical Cancer?

Over 90 percent of cervical carcinomas start in the surface cells lining the cervix and are called squamous cell carcinoma. And about 5 to 9 % start in glandular tissue (adenocarcinoma) of the cervix. Adenocarcinomas are more difficult to diagnose, but they are generally treated the same way as squamous cell carcinomas and the survival rate, stage for stage, is similar.


  1. Cervical Cancer - (https://www.cancer.gov/types/cervical)

Latest Publications and Research on Cervical Cancer


Judy06 Monday, May 5, 2014

What is the symtoms of having cervical cancer?

emran Tuesday, September 6, 2011

can penis penetrate into the cervix kind regards

indus Thursday, March 11, 2010

What is the incidence of ca cx in India in 2010? kindly support with references.

heer28 Friday, January 29, 2010

Cervirax is considered to be effective before any contact with semen, but if somebody is using coitus interruptus method of contraception is it of any use or not????

michael0156 Friday, May 22, 2009

The vaccines Gardasil and Cervarix won't reduce cancer incidence or deaths. They will divert hundreds of billions of health care dollars to the coffers of pharmaceutical companies.

HPV infections, advertised to be the cause of cervical cancer, are slow and handled by our immune systems in over 90% according to the CDC/FDA/American Cancer Society

Women who don't clear HPV infection have immune problems caused by nutritional deficiencies, toxic exposure, toxin ingestion or genetics.

If an immune system can't clear an HPV infection no vaccine can help. Vaccines are passive targets and can't fix an immune system unable to identify or destroy HPV

HPV is controlled by intracellular immune response. Vaccine stimulate the humoral, antibody, response. Antibodies fight bloodborne infections and will not appreciably affect the rate of cervical HPV infections and CANNOT combat an active HPV infection

This will be proved in 20 years when vaccines are shown to have failed

guest Saturday, September 19, 2009

You're correct in stating that the vaccines will not combat those already infected. However, they have been proven to prevent infection of the HPV strains 6,11,16, and 18. Women don't have to have an "immune problem" caused by toxins, etc. to not clear the infection.I suggest you check your facts before posting such erroneous statements.

guest Saturday, September 26, 2009

I made no errors. Over 90% of us clear all HPV infection without drugs doctors or vaccines [FDA], a properly functioning immune system doing it's job. Chronic infection is caused by an immune system problem as I described

Gardasil has NOT been proven to prevent HPV infection, except by conflicted Merck research

A humoral response cannot prevent HPV infection of epithelial tissue, but cell mediated response can. Vaccines to provoke a cell mediated response are being developed. Until then Merck will be defrauding its customers with your help

Gardasil is the largest medical fraud in history perpetrated by Merck, maker of Vioxx and Pargluva, their two previous medical frauds.

Less than 1% of women chronically infected with HPV develop cervical cancer. This is not a cause and effect relationship. Read the Markovics' (oncologists) opinion that HPV and cervical cancer are together merely by coincidence, due to HPV being common and cervical cancer being rare.

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