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Cervical Cancer

See Also:
Cervical Cancer: Introduction & Pictures
Cervical Cancer: Types
Cervical Cancer: Causes & Risk Factors
Cervical Cancer: Signs & Symptoms
Cervical Cancer: Stages
Cervical Cancer: Medical Tests & Diagnosis
Cervical Cancer: Treatment Options
Cervical Cancer: Prevention
Cancer Search Engine

Introduction & Overview

Cervical cancer is a form of cancer that develops in the lining of the cervix.

The cervix is the lower, narrow part of the uterus which connects the uterus to the vagina (birth canal). The uterus is a hollow, pear-shape organ where the fetus grows when a woman is pregnant. The cervix is divided in two sections: the endocervix (the section closest to the uterus) and the ectocervix (the section closest to the vagina). Most cervical cancers develop where these two sections meet.

Cervical cancer undergoes a slow-growing process. Initially, the normal cervical cells gradually develop precancerous changes, a phase known in medical terms as dysphasia, cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN), or squamous intraepithelial lesion (SIL). These changes can range between mild precancerous changes to moderate and even high-grade lesions.

Left untreated, this precancerous stage can turn into cancer which spreads deeply into the cervix and adjacent tissues. Not all the precancerous changes lead to cancer. In some women, these changes can remain unchanged and even go away without treatment, but in other cases the evolution from the precancerous changes to cancer can range between less than a year to several years.

Normally, the cervical cells grow and divide to form new cells, and when they get old, they die, allowing new cells to take their place. When this process is impaired, the cells start to divide and grow abnormally, the old cells do not die when they should, and the result is an abnormal tissue mass or tumor.

There are two types of tumors: benign (term that refers to a non-cancerous mass or growth which is not life threatening, because it does not spread damaging adjacent tissues, structures, and organs) and malignant (term that refers to a cancerous mass or growth which can invade and destroy adjacent tissues and organs inside the body causing death).

 

Cervical cancer is the third most common gynecological cancer in US. Statistics predict that in 2007 around 11,000 to 12,000 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer and about 3,600 will die because of this cancer. Worldwide, one in ten women diagnosed with cancer suffer from cervical cancer. It is the most diagnosed type of cancer among women from Southern Africa and Central America.

Thanks to effective screening tests, today cervical cancer can be detected early or even in precancerous stages when the treatment is highly effective.

See Also:
Cervical Cancer: Introduction & Pictures
Cervical Cancer: Types
Cervical Cancer: Causes & Risk Factors
Cervical Cancer: Signs & Symptoms
Cervical Cancer: Stages
Cervical Cancer: Medical Tests & Diagnosis
Cervical Cancer: Treatment Options
Cervical Cancer: Prevention
Cancer Search Engine

Article by Alina Morrow, MS
Medical Writer
OmniMedicalSearch.com

Page Covers: How many women get cervical cancer each year?

 

Illustration of female anatomy.

Diagram of female anatomy.

Magnified close-up of HeLa cervical cancer cells.

cancer tumor : el cáncer de tumor : tumor de câncer : tumor de câncer : cancro tumore : cancer tumoare : tumeur cancéreuse : tumeur cancéreuse : kanser bukol : cancertumör

Artist rendering of a nonspecific tumor.

cancer tumor : el cáncer de tumor : tumor de câncer : tumor de câncer : cancro tumore : cancer tumoare : tumeur cancéreuse : tumeur cancéreuse : kanser bukol : cancertumör

Artist rendering of a nonspecific tumor.

Cancer Cell : las células cancerosas : células cancerosas : komórek nowotworowych : komórek nowotworowyc : cellule tumorali : celulele canceroase : les cellules cancéreuse : kanser cells : kankercellen : cancerceller

Three rendered Illustrations of how cancer cells appear. The lower right is an actual cancer cell under high-scale magnification.

Cervical Cancer Pictures from our Medical Image Search Engine

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OmniMedicalSearch does not provide medical advice and the Medical Conditions & Diseases section is for informational purposes only. Please see our Medical Disclaimer and always consult with your physician.

Page Last Modified:
12/17/2010