Cervical cancer is a disease in which the cells of the cervix become abnormal and start to grow uncontrollably, forming tumors.
In the United States, cervical cancer is the fifth most common cancer among women aged 35-54, and the third most common cancer of the female reproductive tract. In some developing countries, it is the most common type of cancer. It generally begins as an abnormality in the cells on the outside of the cervix. The cervix is the lower part or neck of the uterus (womb). It connects the body of the uterus to the vagina (birth canal).
Approximately 90% of cervical cancers are squamous cell carcinomas. This type of cancer originates in the thin, flat, squamous cells on the surface of the ectocervix, the part of the cervix that is next to the vagina. (Squamous cells are the thin, flat cells of the surfaces of the skin and cervix and linings of various organs.) Another 10% of cervical cancers are of the adenocarcinoma type. This cancer originates in the mucus-producing cells of the inner or endocervix, near the body of the uterus. Occasionally, the cancer may have characteristics of both types and is called adenosquamous carcinoma or mixed carcinoma.
The initial changes that may occur in some cervical cells are not cancerous. However, these precancerous cells form a lesion called dysplasia or a squamous intraepithelial lesion (SIL), since it occurs within the epithelial or outer layer of cells. These abnormal cells can also be described as cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN). Moderate to severe dysplasia may be called carcinoma in situ or non-invasive cervical cancer.
Dysplasia is a common condition and the abnormal cells often disappear without treatment. However, these precancerous cells can become cancerous. This may take years, although it can happen in less than a year. Eventually, the abnormal cells start to grow uncontrollably into the deeper layers of the cervix, becoming an invasive... [continues]
Cite This Essay
(2012, 02). Cervical Cancer. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 02, 2012, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Cervical-Cancer-925380.html
"Cervical Cancer" StudyMode.com. 02 2012. 02 2012 <http://www.studymode.com/essays/Cervical-Cancer-925380.html>.
"Cervical Cancer." StudyMode.com. 02, 2012. Accessed 02, 2012. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Cervical-Cancer-925380.html.