Cervical cancer develops in the cells of the cervix. It is believed that most cervical cancer is caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection that causes warts. But just because you have HPV doesn’t mean you’ll develop cervical cancer. The majority of HPV infections go away on their own without treatment.
There are usually no signs or symptoms in the early stages of cervical cancer. As the cancer progresses, you may notice:
Your treatment will depend on the characteristics of the cancer, its stage, your general health, and your preferences.
Your options include:
The Gardasil vaccine protects against the HPV strains that cause most genital warts and cervical cancer. The Cervarix vaccine protects against cervical cancer but not genital warts.
We abide by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which recommends girls and boys receive the HPV vaccination between ages 11 and 12. Women up to age 26 and men up to age 21 may also receive the vaccine.
At UT Southwestern, care does not stop with treatment of the malignancy. Our team is just as concerned about your nutrition, pain control, and psychological and social adjustments, as well as the impact of cancer on your family.
If you have questions, be sure to talk with your physician or another member of your clinical care team.