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Cervical Cancer: description

What is Cervical Cancer?

The cervix is the lower part of the uterus. Usually the cervix stops growing by the time of puberty, but the cells will continue to divide, replacing those cells that die off. The division of new cells will sometimes mutate, turning the cells abnormal, causing them to divide out of all control. This is what cause tumors to form. these tumors are made up of these out of control mutated cells. Tumors are simply swollen cells, and does not always develop into cancer, in fact, the great majority are not cancerous. If a tumor stays in one local area, not spreading to nearby tissue, it is known as a ‘benign’ tumor, and can usually be removed without causing problems. It if spreads, it is know as a malignant tumor, and is classified as cancer.

Is Cervical Cancer Common?

In America alone, each year 13,500 new patients are diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer, and 7,000 die from it. Even more common are the ‘pre-cancerous’ changes in the cervix affecting some 55,000 women in the USA alone. Pre-cancerous changes are usually located by a Pap smear. This is why it is important to schedule a regular Pap smear to catch any problems early. The earlier problems are found, the better they respond to treatment.

The average age of most patients with cervical cancer or pre-cancerous problems is 50, but that is only an average, many women younger, and even older have been known to contact the disease. Cervical cancer is on the increase in the US, even more than in developing countries with less health care. It this writing cervical cancer ranks 5th most common cancer among women, right after lung, breast, colon and uterine cancers.

Sharon Jennings

Patient Stories

Sharon Jennings

Innovative technology and surgical expertise helped physicians save cervical cancer patient Sharon Jennings' cervix — and her life.