Cervical cancer is the growth of abnormal cells in the lining of the cervix. The most common cervical cancer is squamous cell carcinoma, accounting for 70% of cases. Adenocarcinoma is less common (about 25% of cases) and more difficult to diagnose because it starts higher in the cervix.
It is estimated that more than 900 people were diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2022. The average age at diagnosis is 49 years old.
Precancerous changes in cervical cells rarely cause symptoms. The only way to know if there are abnormal cells that may develop into cancer is to have a cervical screening test. If early cell changes develop into cervical cancer, the most common signs include:
vaginal bleeding between periods
menstrual bleeding that is longer or heavier than usual
pain during intercourse
bleeding after intercourse
a change in your vaginal discharge such as more discharge or it may have a strong or unusual color or smell