Cervical cancer is a disease in which cancer cells grow in the cervix. The cervix is the lower, narrow part of the uterus also known as the womb. It connects the uterus with the vagina.
Cancer occurs when cells in the body divide without control or order. With cervical cancer, epithelial cervix cells that line the cervical canal divide without control or order. Normally, cells divide in a controlled manner. If cells keep dividing uncontrollably, a mass of tissue forms, called a growth or tumor. The term cancer refers to malignant tumors. Malignant tumors can invade nearby tissue and spread to other parts of the body. A benign tumor does not invade or spread.
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Research suggests that some sexually transmitted viruses like human papilloma virus (HPV) can cause cervical cells to begin the changes that can lead to cancer.
Last reviewedDecember 2013by Michael Woods, MD
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