The exact cause of most cervical cancers is unknown, but risk factors include early sexual activity, multiple sexual partners, smoking, a weakened immune system, and having a human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.
Diagnosis of cervical cancer is usually made with a Pap smear, biopsy, and imaging tests such as an MRI or CT scan.
Differential diagnoses to consider when evaluating a patient with cervical cancer include other types of cancer, such as endometrial cancer, ovarian cancer, and vulvar cancer; other causes of abnormal uterine bleeding, such as polyps, endometriosis, and fibroids; and infections, such as HPV and chlamydia.
Treatment for cervical cancer usually involves surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and/or targeted therapy.
Prognosis for cervical cancer depends on the stage of the cancer, the patient’s age and overall health, and the type of treatment used. Generally, the earlier the cancer is detected and treated, the better the prognosis.