The most common way women find out about cervical cancer is by having a routine pelvic exam and Pap test. If the Pap test shows any abnormal cells, your provider will contact you for follow up.
At Group Health Medical Centers, our cervical cancer treatment is based on the latest technology and research. Our providers in family medicine and women’s health join with our surgical gynecologists and cancer specialists to form the cervical cancer care team. Together, they provide coordinated, outstanding, and compassionate care from diagnosis through treatment and beyond.
Cervical cancer begins in the cervix, the organ that connects a woman’s uterus and vagina. It usually grows slowly. If it is not treated, the cancer can spread more deeply into the cervix and to other parts of the body.
This cancer is often found in the very early stage with a routine Pap test, which can detect abnormal cells before they turn into cancer. In its early stage, cervical cancer usually doesn’t cause symptoms. As the cancer grows larger, women may have bleeding, pelvic pain or increased vaginal discharge. However, other conditions can also cause these symptoms so it is important to contact your personal doctor if you have pain, bleeding, or discharge.
Cervical cancer often occurs in younger women under the age of 55. Most cervical cancer is caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, spread by sexual contact. There are many different types of HPV. Only some of the types cause cervical cancer.
To learn more, see Cervical Cancer.