Cervical Cancer: Understanding the Basics

By Dr. Kanika Gupta in Cancer Care / Oncology

Feb 10 , 2023 | 2 min read

Cervical cancer is cancer that affects the cells of the cervix, the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina. It is a common type of cancer that affects women and is preventable with early screening and treatment.

Cervical Cancer Causes

Cervical cancer is mostly caused by persistent human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. There are over 100 strains of HPV, but only a few of them cause cancer. The human papillomavirus causes more than 95% of cases of cervical cancer (HPV). Nearly 50% of high-grade cervical pre-cancers are caused by HPV 16 and 18 strains. Other risk factors include smoking, multiple sexual partners, oral contraceptive use, and weak immune systems.

The reproductive tract is frequently infected by HPV viruses transmitted during sex from one person to another. The majority of sexually active women and men will contract the disease at some point in their life, and some may contract it more than once. Over 90% of affected people eventually recover from the virus. At least half of those who engage in sexual activity will have HPV at some time in their life, yet only a few women will get cervical cancer.

Cervical Cancer Symptoms

In the early stages, there are often no symptoms. As cancer progresses, some common symptoms include abnormal vaginal bleeding, pain during sex, and discharge from the vagina. If you have any of these symptoms, it is necessary to see a doctor as soon as possible.

Cervical Cancer Diagnosis

The most common way to diagnose cervical cancer is through a PAP smear. During this test, a sample of cells is taken from the cervix and tested for any abnormal cells. A biopsy may be done if abnormal cells are found to determine if they are cancerous.

Cervical Cancer Treatment

The treatment depends on the stage of the cancer. In the early stages, cancer can be treated with a simple procedure called a cone biopsy. This involves removing the abnormal cells from the cervix. In more advanced stages, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or a hysterectomy may be necessary.

Cervical cancer is a serious condition that affects many women, but it is preventable with early screening and treatment. If you experience any symptoms, it is important to see a doctor. Regular PAP smears and the HPV vaccine are some of the best ways to prevent cervical cancer. With the right cervical cancer treatment can be beaten, and women can live healthy lives.

Cervical Cancer Prevention

The best way to prevent cervical cancer is by getting regular PAP smears. This test can detect abnormal cells before they turn into cancer, allowing for early treatment. Other ways to reduce the risk of developing cervical cancer include getting the HPV vaccine, practising safe sex, and quitting smoking. Up to 90% of cervical malignancies may be avoided with HPV vaccinations, which offer protection against two to seven high-risk variants of this family of viruses.


In conclusion, taking care of your reproductive health is important. Regular check-ups and PAP smears can save lives. Don’t ignore any symptoms, and always make sure to get the care you need. Remember, knowledge is power, and by understanding cervical cancer, you can help protect yourself and those you love.

Related Video