Cervical Cancer

More than 12,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year. Once one of the deadliest forms of cancer for American women, increased use of the Papanicolaou (commonly called a Pap) test has greatly reduced the death rate from cervical cancer.
What is Cervical Cancer?
Cancer is the result of a mutation that causes otherwise normal cells to grow at an abnormal rate. A buildup of extra cells in the cervix (the passageway between the uterus and the vagina) can result in the formation of tumors, which may be either malignant (cancerous) or benign (noncancerous). 
Benign growths — polyps, cysts or genital warts — can be treated or surgically removed and usually do not grow back. Cervical cancer begins in cells on the surface of the cervix and can invade more deeply into the cervix and into nearby tissues over time. Cervical cancer cells can also break away from the tumor and spread through lymph vessels and the bloodstream.
Cervical cancer is almost always caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection. Two vaccines (Cervarix and Gardasil) are available to protect against the types of HPV that cause most cervical cancers; however, the only certain way of avoiding HPV is by abstaining from sexual activity. You can reduce your risk by limiting the number of sex partners or being in a relationship with one partner who has had few or no past sex partners.
How Can Houston Methodist Help?
Houston Methodist is dedicated to providing advanced resources to diagnose and treat cervical cancer. Our highly trained specialists use the latest tools and techniques to identify cervical cancer early and provide the best possible outcomes. 
Our continued commitment to research enables us to improve present and future cancer care through our many  cancer-related clinical trials.