Cervical Cancer Facts

Cervical cancer starts in the cervix, the lower part of the uterus (womb) located between the bladder and the rectum. Learn More ›

Symptoms: Cervical Cancer

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding that occurs after sex, after menopause, or between menstrual periods

  • Foul-smelling, bloody, or unusual vaginal discharge

  • Lower back pain

  • Pain during sexual intercourse

  • Pelvic pain

  • Periods that are longer or heavier than usual

  • Certain medications, such as DES or drugs that suppress the immune system

  • Having HIV/AIDS or other sexually transmitted diseases

  • Having multiple sex partners

  • Having sex at a young age

  • Having sex with a partner who has had multiple sex partners or has been exposed to HPV

  • Having unprotected sex

  • Smoking

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Treatment: Cervical Cancer

Your doctor may recommend a specific treatment. Or, he or she may offer you a choice of which one you’d like to follow. But in most cases, surgery or radiation will be needed. Discuss with your doctor and other healthcare professionals any questions and concerns you have about your treatment options. Ask how successful the treatment is expected to be, and what its risks and side effects may be. Take the time you need to make the best decision for you.

Doctors are also finding new ways to treat cervical cancer. These new methods are tested in clinical trials. Before beginning treatment, you should ask your doctor if there are any clinical trials you should consider.

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Living With: Are You At Risk for Cervical Cancer?

Photo of a woman holding a cigarette

There is really no way to know for sure if you're going to get cervical cancer. Certain factors can make you more likely to get cervical cancer than another woman. These are called risk factors. However, just because you have one or more risk factors does not mean you will get cervical cancer. In fact, you can have all the risk factors and still not get cervical cancer. With cervical cancer, it is rare to get the disease if you have no known risk factors, but it is possible.

Learn more about living with Cervical Cancer

Your Guide to Cervical Cancer

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