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Cervical Cancer

Treating and preventing gynecologic cancer

A smiling young African-American woman represents the full life that can be led after cervical cancer treatment.

Treating and preventing gynecologic cancer

Scripps MD Anderson Cancer Center is a leader in caring for women with cervical cancer. Scripps gynecologists and cancer specialists are experts in detecting precancerous cells before they become cancer, and stopping cervical cancer in its earliest stages. For more advanced cases, our oncology specialists treat cervical cancer with advanced therapies designed to eliminate cancer and prevent recurrence, including minimally invasive surgery that uses small incisions, potentially resulting in shorter hospital stays and a faster recovery, and immunotherapy to harness the power of the body’s own immune system.

Our multidisciplinary, collaborative board of cancer specialists reviews every patient’s care plan to ensure you receive the best possible care from diagnosis to recovery.

About cervical cancer

Cervical cancer is one of several types of gynecologic cancers, which also include vaginal cancer and uterine cancer (endometrial cancer). Cervical cancer starts in the cells lining the cervix. 

The cervix is the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina. It has two parts, each with its own type of cells:

  • Endocervix is the part of the cervix closest to the uterus and is covered by glandular cells.
  • Exocervix is located next to the vagina and is covered by squamous cells.

Most cervical cancers begin where these two cell types meet, called the transformation zone. As a woman ages, or if she gives birth, the exact location of the transformation zone can change. 

Most women who develop cervical cancer are between 20 and 50 years old. The disease used to be one of the leading causes of cancer death for American women, but the cervical cancer death rate has dropped by more than 50% over the past four decades. This is due mostly to preventive screening, which can detect precancerous changes that can be removed. Screening also can find cervical cancer at its earliest stages, when treatment can be highly successful. 

Cervical cancer symptoms, diagnosis and stages

Most women have no cervical cancer symptoms in the early stages of the disease, which is why screening is so important. As with most cancers, the earlier cervical cancer is found, the greater the likelihood of successful treatment. Learn more about symptoms, imaging and diagnostic testing, and the stages of cervical cancer below.

Treatment and clinical trials

Scripps MD Anderson oncologists and cancer specialists will help you fight cervical cancer with the most advanced treatment options, including minimally invasive and robotic-assisted surgical procedures, and the most comprehensive radiation therapy choices in San Diego.

Cervical cancer treatment locations

Scripps diagnoses and treats cervical cancer at numerous locations throughout San Diego County. From Chula Vista and La Jolla to Encinitas and beyond, our extensive network of Southern California cancer care centers includes:

  • Four Scripps hospitals on five campuses
  • Outpatient clinics
  • Specialty cancer treatment centers

Visit cancer care locations for details of each cancer hospital, clinic and specialty center.

Support groups, services and resources

Scripps offers a comprehensive lineup of support groups, support services and resources to help you along every step of your cancer journey.