Cervical Cancer: A Guide for Patients

Guides for Patients are designed to assist patients, their relatives and caregivers to better understand the nature of different types of cancer and evaluate the best available treatment choices.

What is cervical cancer?

Cervical cancer forms in tissues of the cervix, an organ connecting the uterus and the vagina. It is usually a slow-growing cancer that may not have symptoms but can be found with regular Pap tests. This is a procedure in which cells are scraped from the cervix and looked at under a microscope. Cervical cancer is almost always caused by infection with human papillomavirus (HPV).

Other types of cancer might develop in the body of the uterus. Diagnosis and treatment of these types of cancer are different from cervical cancer. More information can be found in the Endometrial Cancer guide for patients.

Beyond definition of cervical cancer, in this guide for patients you can find answers to the questions such as:

  • Is cervical cancer frequent?
  • What causes cervical cancer?
  • How is cervical cancer diagnosed?
  • What is it important to know to get the optimal treatment?
  • What are the treatment options?
  • What are the possible side effects of the treatments?
  • What happens after the treatment?

This guide for patients has been prepared in collaboration with  Anti-Cancer Fund as a service to patients, to help patients and their relatives better understand the nature of Cervical Cancer and appreciate the best treatment choices available according to the subtype of Cervical Cancer. ESMO recommends that patients ask their doctors about what tests or types of treatments are needed for their type and stage of disease.

Patient Guides for Cervical Cancer were published in 2012.