January is Cervical Cancer Month

What is Cervical Cancer?

When cancer starts in the cervix, it is called cervical cancer. The cervix is the lower, narrow end of the uterus. Also known as the womb, the uterus is where a baby grows when a woman is pregnant. The cervix connects the upper part of the uterus to the vagina (the birth canal).

All women are at risk for cervical cancer. It occurs most often in women over age 30. Each year, about 12,000 women in the United States get cervical cancer and about 4,000 women die from it.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the main cause of cervical cancer. HPV is a common virus that is passed from one person to another during sex. At least half of sexually active people will have HPV at some point in their lives, but few women will get cervical cancer.

Cervical cancer used to be the leading cause of cancer death for women in the United States. However, in the past 40 years, the number of cases of cervical cancer and the number of deaths from cervical cancer have decreased significantly. This decline largely is the result of many women getting regular Pap tests, which can find cervical precancer before it turns into cancer.1 For more information, visit HPV-Associated Cervical Cancer Rates by Race and Ethnicity.

In 2014 (the most recent year numbers are available)—

  • 12,578 women in the United States were diagnosed with cervical cancer.2
  • 4,115 women in the United States died from cervical cancer.2

This information is from the CDC.  Please visit their website for more important information regarding Cervical Cancer.