This fact sheet about cervical cancer is part of the Centers for. Disease Control and Prevention’s …. associated with a lower rate of cervical cancer. …
There are five main types of cancer that affect a woman’s reproductive organs: cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal, and vulvar. As a group, they are referred to as gynecologic (GY-neh-kuh-LAH-jik) cancer. (A sixth type of gynecologic cancer is the very rare fallopian tube cancer.) This fact sheet about cervical cancer is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Campaign. The campaign helps women get the facts about gynecologic cancer, providing important "inside knowledge" about their bodies and health.
Get the Facts About Gynecologic Cancer
What is cervical cancer?
Cancer is a disease in which cells in the body grow out of control. Cancer is always named for the part of the body where it starts, even if it spreads to other body parts later. When cancer starts in the cervix, it is called cervical cancer. The cervix is the lower, narrow end of the uterus. Also known as the womb, the uterus is where a baby grows when a woman is pregnant. The cervix connects the upper part of the uterus to the vagina (the birth canal). Cervical cancer is the easiest female cancer to prevent, with regular screening tests and follow-up. It also is highly curable when found and treated early.
Who gets cervical cancer?
All women are at risk for cervical cancer. It occurs most often in women over age 30. In 2005,* 11,999 women in the United States were told they had cervical cancer. It is important to get tested for cervical cancer because 6 out of 10 cervical cancers occur in women who have never received a Pap test or have not been tested in the past five years. The human papillomavirus (HPV), a common virus that can be passed from one person to another during sex, is the main cause of cervical cancer. At least half of sexually active people will have HPV at some point in their lives. Keep in mind, many people will have an HPV infection at some time in their lives, but few women will get cervical cancer.
* The most recent year for which statistics are currently available.
Are there tests that can prevent cervical cancer or find it early?
There are two tests that can help prevent cervical cancer or find it early: