Cervical Cancer: FAQs
- What is cervical cancer?
Cervical cancer is the out-of-control spread of cancerous cells in the lining of the cervix. The cervix connects the uterus to the vagina. You may hear about two parts of the cervix when discussing cervical cancer. The endocervix opens into the uterus and is covered in glandular cells, while the exocervix is covered in squamous cells. This part of the cervix is what doctors see during a Pap test.
- What is pre-cancer?
Before cervical cells become cancerous they pass through a pre-cancer phase. Your doctor might use the terms CIN, SIL, or dysplasia. Pre-cancerous cells do not always turn into cancer cells. Often times they simply go away, but it is important to monitor them.
- What are the different types of cervical cancer?
There are two most common types of cervical cancer. One is called squamous cell carcinoma and the other is called adenocarcinoma. Squamous cell carcinomas are the most common. Visit the American Cancer Society to learn more about the different types of cervical cancer.
- What causes cervical cancer?
There are many different risk factors surrounding cervical cancer. The most common, however, is the Human Papillomavirus (HPV).
- Should my child get the HPV vaccine?
Some parents associate the HPV vaccine with sexual activity on the part of their child, and other parents have fears regarding the safety of the HPV vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has been monitoring the HPV Vaccine for 12 years and has determined it is extremely safe and is helping to prevent cancer. Learn more about the CDC’s view about the HPV Vaccine.
- What is the treatment for cervical cancer?
Treatment depends on the staging and type of cancer you have. You may need surgery or you may need to undergo radiation or chemotherapy. Whatever the treatment, you will be supported with a multi-disciplinary team here at Southeastern Med and you will be able to recover close to family, friends, and your home.
- How can I prevent cervical cancer?
Unlike other types of cancer, there are very clear ways to help minimize the chance that you will have to fight cervical cancer, although there is no 100% guarantee. The American Cancer Society advises young women AND young men to get the HPV Vaccine as outlined by the Cancer Society and CDC guidelines. Women should also consistently get screened for HPV and pre-cancerous cells via the Pap test or Pap Smear.
- How common is cervical cancer?
According to the American Cancer Society
- About 13,800 new cases of invasive cervical cancer will be diagnosed in 2020
- About 4,290 women will die from cervical cancer in 2020