Thomas Jefferson UniversitySidney Kimmel Medical College

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Cervical Cancer

Quick Facts

Every year in the United States, about 11,000 women learn they have invasive cervical cancer. Most of these women are younger than 55. Risk factors include human papillomavirus (HPV), lack of regular PAP tests, smoking, weakened immune system, high number of sexual partners, prolonged use of birth control pills, having many children, and/or exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES).

Definition

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

Specialized Physicians:
Atrayee Basu Mallick, MD
Avnish Bhatia, MD
Christina Brus, MD
Andrew E. Chapman, DO
Rebecca J. Jaslow, MD *
Michael J. Ramirez, MD
Lewis J. Rose, MD, FACP
Norman Rosenblum, MD *
Russell J. Schilder, MD *
Allison Zibelli, MD, FACP

*Practice Focus: Gynecologic Oncology

For further information contact:
Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
www.jeffersonhospital.org/cancer

Stages

Stage I: The tumor has invaded the cervix beneath the top layer of cells. Cancer cells are found only in the cervix.

Stage II: The tumor extends to the upper part of the vagina. It may extend beyond the cervix into nearby tissues toward the pelvic wall (the lining of the part of the body between the hips). The tumor does not invade the lower third of the vagina or the pelvic wall.

Stage III: The tumor extends to the lower part of the vagina. It may also have invaded the pelvic wall. If the tumor blocks the flow of urine, one or both kidneys may not be working well.

Stage IV: The tumor invades the bladder or rectum. Or the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

Treatment

Treatment options for people with cervical cancer include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or a combination of methods. The choice of treatment depends mainly on the size of the tumor and whether the cancer has spread. The treatment choice may also depend on whether the patient would like to become pregnant someday.

Reference: National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/cervical