What Is Cervical Cancer?

Cervical cancer begins in cells of the cervix, the lower end of the uterus. The cervix connects the uterus to the vagina. When cells in the cervix begin to grow abnormally, it is called dysplasia. Dysplasia is not cancer, but it can lead to cancer if not treated. Once cancer forms, there are three possible types:

  • Squamous cell carcinoma: This cancer starts in the thin, flat cells on the surface of the cervix and is by far the most common form of cervical cancer
  • Adenocarcinoma: This type of cancer starts in the gland cells of the endocervix, the opening of the uterus
  • Mixed carcinoma: This is cancer in both types of cells

The Northwestern Medicine gynecologic oncology team specializes in treating women with gynecologic cancer, including cervical cancer. You’ll have access to the latest treatment options including chemotherapy, surgery and radiation therapy. Depending on your condition, clinical trials may also be a treatment option for you.