What is cervical cancer?
Cervical cancer is a disease that occurs when cancerous cells grow in the cervix, which is the part of the body that connects the uterus and the vagina. It is a major public health issue and the fourth most common form of cancer in women.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that in 2018, an estimated 570,000 women worldwide were diagnosed with cervical cancer, and about 311,000 women passed away from it. Women ages 35–44 are most often diagnosed with cervical cancer, and those under the age of 20 rarely develop this disease.
There are four stages of cervical cancer, which are diagnosed based on the size of the cancer and where it has spread throughout the body. And different types of cervical cancers and precancers are classified based on how they appear under a microscope.
Technical, medical, and policy tools and approaches to eliminate cervical cancer exist. The WHO states that a comprehensive global approach to prevent, screen, and treat cervical cancer could completely eradicate it as a public health issue within just one generation.