You’ve just been told, “You have cervical cancer.” That’s scary to hear. However, knowledge is powerful. It can help make a difference in how you handle your experience with cancer.
You probably have a lot of questions. What is cervical cancer? Will I survive? Was the diagnosis correct? What are my treatment choices? How do I choose the best doctor? Getting answers to these questions can help ease your fears.
We’re here to help answer your questions. Our goal is to give you the information you need so that you can work with your health care team to make the best choices about your treatment and care. We want to help you face cancer with confidence.
The first step is to learn more about cervical cancer.
Our bodies are made up of tiny building blocks called cells. These cells multiply when the body needs them and die when they are no longer needed. Cancer is made up of abnormal cells that multiply constantly, whether they are needed or not. In most cancers, the abnormal cells grow into a lump called a tumor. This is a process that takes a while to develop. Cancerous cells are called malignant.
Most cancers are named for the type of cell or body part in which they begin. Cancer that starts in the cervix is called cervical cancer. The cervix is the lower, narrow part of the uterus that forms an opening into the vagina.
A pathologist looks at the cells the doctor removed during your biopsy. He or she can tell what type of cervical cancer you have by looking at the cells. The type of cancer partly determines your choices for treatment.