Cervical Cancer Facts

Overview | Statistics | Types of Cancer | Stages of Cancer

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Types of Cervical Cancer

A pathologist looks at the cells the doctor removed during your biopsy to tell what type of cervical cancer you have. The type of cancer partly determines your treatment plan.

The cervix has 2 parts. The outer part closest to the vagina is called the ectocervix. The inner part closest to the uterus is called the endocervix. Where these 2 parts meet is where most cervical cancers start. This is called the transformation zone.

There are 2 main types of cervical cancer.

  • Squamous cell carcinoma is cancer of cells that line the outer part of the cervix. These cancers have flat, thin cells. They cover the surface of the endocervix, which is the part closest to the uterus. About 80% of cervical cancers are this type.
  • Adenocarcinoma is cancer of the cells lining the inner part of the cervix. They develop from gland cells in the endocervix, which is the part closest to the vagina. About 20% of cervical cancers are this type.

If the cervical cancer affects both types of cells, it is called mixed carcinoma.

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