Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in the cells of the cervix — the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina. Cervical cancer is most frequently diagnosed in women between the ages of 35 and 44 with the average age at diagnosis being 50 . It rarely develops in women younger than 20. Many older women do not realize that the risk of developing cervical cancer is still present as they age.
Various strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection, play a role in causing most cervical cancer. When exposed to HPV, the body's immune system typically prevents the virus from doing harm. In a small percentage of people, however, the virus survives for years, contributing to the process that causes some cervical cells to become cancer cells.
You can reduce your risk of developing cervical cancer by having screening tests and receiving a vaccine that protects against HPV infection.
Signs and symptoms of more-advanced cervical cancer include: