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What You Need To Know About™

Cervical Cancer

  • Updated: 03/29/2012

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About This Booklet

This National Cancer Institute (NCI) booklet is for you—a woman who has just been diagnosed with cervical cancer. The disease begins on the surface of the cervix. If not treated, the cancer invades more deeply into the cervix. This is called invasive cervical cancer.

In 2013, more than 12,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer. Most will be younger than 55.

Learning about medical care for invasive cervical cancer can help you take an active part in making choices about your care. This booklet tells about…

  • Diagnosis and staging
  • Treatment and follow-up care
  • Taking part in research studies

You can read this booklet from front to back. Or you can read only the sections you need right now.

This booklet has lists of questions that you may want to ask your doctor. Many people find it helpful to take a list of questions to a doctor visit. To help remember what your doctor says, you can take notes. You may also want to have a family member or friend go with you when you talk with the doctor—to take notes, ask questions, or just listen.

This booklet is only about invasive cervical cancer. It’s not about abnormal cells found only on the surface of the cervix or about other cervical cell changes. These changes are treated differently from invasive cervical cancer.

Women with abnormal cells only on the surface of the cervix may want to read the NCI booklet Understanding Cervical Changes: A Health Guide for Women instead. It tells about abnormal cells and describes the treatment options.

This text may be reproduced or reused freely. Please credit the National Cancer Institute as the source. Any graphics may be owned by the artist or publisher who created them, and permission may be needed for their reuse.