Cervical cancer is a disease in which cancer cells grow in the cervix. The cervix is the lower, narrow part of the uterus. It connects the uterus with the vagina.
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Cancer occurs when cells in the body divide without control or order. Normally, cells divide in a regulated manner. If cells keep dividing uncontrollably when new cells are not needed, a mass of tissue forms, called a growth or tumor. The term cancer refers to malignant growths. These growths can invade nearby tissues. Cancer that has invaded nearby tissues can then spread to other parts of the body.
Research suggests that some sexually transmitted viruses, like human papillomavirus (HPV), can cause cervical cells to begin the changes that can lead to cancer.
It is not clear exactly what causes changes in the cells, but is probably a combination of genetics and environment.
Last reviewedNovember 2014by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.