What is cervical cancer?

Find out what the cervix is, where cervical cancer starts and how common it is.


Not everyone diagnosed with cervical cancer will have symptoms. Things to look out for include unusual vaginal bleeding, pain during sex or vaginal discharge.

Getting diagnosed

Get information about seeing your GP, referral to a specialist, and the tests you might have.


Cervical screening aims to prevent cervical cancer. Find out about the screening programme, how you have the screening test and what your results mean.

Abnormal cervical cells

An abnormal cervical screening test result means that you have changes in the cells covering the neck of your womb (cervix). Find out about the treatment you might have.

Stages, types and grades

The stage of a cancer tells you about its size and whether it has spread. The type means the type of cell the cancer started from. The grade means how abnormal the cells look under the microscope.

Treatment for cervical cancer

Your treatment depends on where your cancer is, how big it is, whether it has spread and your general health.

Advanced cervical cancer

Advanced cervical cancer means that a cancer that began in the cervix (the neck of the womb) has spread to another part of the body. Or the cancer has come back after treatment.

Living with cervical cancer

Get support to cope during and after cervical cancer.

Research and clinical trials

Find out about research into cervical cancer, as well as how to find clinical trials and information about how you can take part.


Survival depends on many factors including the stage and type of your cervical cancer. 

Risks and causes

The human papilloma virus (HPV) is a major cause of the main types of cervical cancer. Read about this and other risk factors.

Resources and support

Find out about support groups, books, videos and other resources to help you cope with cervical cancer and treatment.

Last reviewed: 
18 Jun 2020
Next review due: 
18 Jun 2023
Coronavirus and cancer

We know it’s a worrying time for people with cancer, we have information to help.

Read our information about coronavirus and cancer