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Overview - Cervical cancer

Diagram of the pelvic area with labels showing the vagina, cervix, womb, fallopian tubes and ovaries.  The cervix is above the vagina.
  • Cervical cancer is a cancer that's found anywhere in the cervix. It mostly affects women under the age of 45.
  • Anyone with a cervix can get cervical cancer.
  • The cervix is the opening between the vagina and the womb (uterus).
  • It's part of the reproductive system and is sometimes called the neck of the womb.
  • Nearly all cervical cancers are caused by an infection from certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV).
  • It can often be prevented by attending cervical screening, which aims to find and treat changes to cells before they turn into cancer.
  • Cervical cancer usually grows very slowly. How serious it is depends on how big it is, if it has spread and your general health.

Important: Get your symptoms checked

It's important to get any symptoms of cervical cancer checked as soon as possible.

Page last reviewed: 02 September 2021
Next review due: 02 September 2024