Cervical Cancer

Macmillan Cancer Support

Cervical cancer develops very slowly from abnormal cell changes in the cervix. These changes do not cause any symptoms, but they may be found with cervical screening tests. If the tests show abnormal cell changes, treatment can prevent cancer developing.

The cervix is the lower part of the womb (uterus) that joins to the top of the vagina. It is sometimes called the neck of the womb. People who have a cervix include women, transgender (trans) men and people assigned female at birth.

Each year, more than 3,200 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer in the UK. This type of cancer can affect all ages.

Types of cervical cancer

There are two main types of cervical cancer. The most common is squamous cell carcinoma. This develops from a type of cell that covers the outside of the cervix, at the top of the vagina.

The other type is adenocarcinoma. This develops from a different type of cell found in the cervical canal (the endocervix). Rarer types of cervical cancer include:

  • adenosquamous carcinoma
  • clear cell carcinoma
  • neuroendocrine carcinoma or small cell carcinoma of the cervix
  • lymphoma
  • sarcoma.

These types are much less common and may be treated differently.

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