Cervical cancer is a malignant caner that cancer cells form in cervix. Human papillomavirus infection is the major risk. Every year, almost 10,000 American women will get cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer can be almost classed in to two types:
- Squamous cell carcinoma, which starts in the cervical epithelium, develops in a serious of precancerous changes and progresses an invasion towards the epithelium. The precancerous abnormalities (cancer in situ) can be found with a cervical smear test.
- Adenocarcinoma, which source from cervical gland cells. There are also various sub-types of adenocarinoma. It usually starts high up in the cervix, so may not be picked up by a smear test.
There are also some rare types such as small cell carcinoma and cervical sarcoma. Another, the uterine sarcoma is less common, which affects the powerful muscles of the womb.