Types of Cervical Cancer
Cervical cancer, as the name suggests, is a type of cancer that occurs in the cervix, which is the lowermost part of the uterus and opens at the top of the vagina.
Globally, cervical cancer is the third most common type of cancer that is found in women. More than 90 percent of the cervical cancers can be divided into two different types:
Squamous cell carcinoma: It starts in the cell surface that lines the cervix. It develops a series of changes, starting from mild abnormalities in the cells and progresses towards full cancer. Every year almost 24,000 women are diagnosed with precancerous abnormalities when they go through the cervical smear test.
Adenocarcinoma: This includes only 5 to 10 percent and forms mucous producing gland cells. These are hard to diagnose and may not be picked up by a smear test.
Cervical cancers are primarily caused by a virus, human papillomavirus (HPV). This virus is spread through the vagina during intercourse. There are different types of HPV, but strains such as HPV 16 and 18 carry the highest risk.
In addition, there are other factors that may cause cervical cancer, including sexual intercourse at an earlier age, more than one sexual partner, sexual partners having multiple partners and weakened immune system among others.