Cervical cancer occurs when cells in the cervix grow erratically and multiply out of control. Cervical cancer cells and pre-cancerous changes can be detected with a Pap smear. Approximately 50 million Pap smears are performed each year in the United States. The increased use of Pap smear is largely responsible for a significant reduction in the number of deaths from cervical cancer over the years (a decrease of 74% from 1955 to 1992). Treatment options for pre-cancerous and cancerous cells of the cervix include cauterization, cryosurgery, laser surgery, cone biopsy, hysterectomy, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. As with other cancers, the earlier cervical cancer is detected, the greater the chances for successful treatment and survival.
For more information, visit the Cervical Cancer Resource Center.