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Cervical Cancer

Cancer and Neoplasms, Women's Health and Childbirth

Cervical cancer occurs when the cells of the cervix (the lower part of the uterus that connects the vagina to the uterine cavity) become abnormal, grow uncontrollably, and form tumors. The human papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted infection that has been found to play a significant role in causing cervical cancer. In some women, the virus causes the cells of the cervix to become cancerous as it can survive for many years. The early stages of this cancer will usually not cause any outward signs nor symptoms and are caught during a routine pap smear. In the past, cervical cancer was the leading cause of death due to cancer in the United States. Thankfully, regular screening tests for cervical cancer and getting the HPV vaccine have greatly reduced the number of cases and lowered the death rate significantly.

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