Cervical Cancer : Signs, Symptoms and Causes

Cervical cancer may not have any symptoms in its early stages, and even if they do appear, they are mild and can only be detected by a doctor. In most cases, symptoms of cancer of the cervix become apparent only in the advanced stages, when the disease has spread to other parts of the body.

A few symptoms of cervical cancer may be similar to symptoms of other cervix problems, and therefore, they may be ignored in some cases. This may lead to a delayed diagnosis and a poor treatment prognosis.

Paying attention to the different signs and symptoms of cervical cancer and understanding the possible causes of cervical cancer can aid in the early detection and timely treatment of this condition.

Who is Mainly Affected by Cervical Cancer?

Cervical cancer is one of the most common cancers among women. The risk of cervical cancer is found to increase around the age of 45 and peak around the age of 55.

Those who have had an HPV infection for years have a higher chance of developing cervical cancer.

That said, anyone can get diagnosed with cervical cancer, and it is therefore important to undergo regular screening, which helps in the early detection and timely treatment of cervical cancer.

Most Common Signs and Symptoms of Cervical Cancer

Not all women with cervical cancer experience the same symptoms. Being aware of the different symptoms of cervical cancer can help women seek medical attention at the right time and put themselves a step ahead of the disease. The following are some of the important cervix cancer signs and symptoms:

Cervical Cancer Types & Their Symptoms

The symptoms of cervical cancer may vary depending on the type of cancer. The following are the possible symptoms of different types of cervical cancer:

What are the Causes of Cervical Cancer?

Presently, the exact cause of cervical cancer is unknown. However, over the years, a few factors that can increase the risk of cervical cancer have been identified.

When to See an Oncologist?

Certain signs and symptoms of cancer of the cervix are similar to those of other less serious gynecological problems. However, it is important not to ignore the different signs of cervical cancer, especially if they last for more than two weeks or begin to worsen. Promptly seeing a doctor in such cases can support an early diagnosis and timely treatment of cervical cancer.


We may not know the exact cause of cervical cancer at this point in time. However, we do know that certain factors can increase cervical cancer risk in women. Learning about these risk factors, along with the different early signs of cervical cancer and other important symptoms of cervical cancer, can help women become cancer-aware and put themselves a step ahead of cervical cancer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Cervical cancer is commonly found to start in the squamocolumnar junction, or transformational zone, where the ectocervix (outer part of the cervix) and endocervix (inner part of the cervix) meet. Commonly, it is a persistent HPV infection, which is caused by certain HPV strains, that leads to precancerous lesions that, if left untreated, can transform into cancer. Other factors, like hereditary cervical cancer and certain genetic disorders, smoking, suppressed immunity, etc., may also lead to cervical cancer.

Many reports suggest that those with cervical cancer often have a vitamin D deficiency. However, this link is not fully understood. One of the possible reasons for this could be vitamin D’s role in immune function. The poor immunity caused by vitamin D deficiency may make one more susceptible to HPV infection, which is a direct risk factor for cervical cancer.

Certain lifestyle factors, or modifiable factors, can increase cervical cancer risk in women. Engaging in unprotected sexual intercourse, having multiple sexual practices, smoking, not opting for regular screening, poor hygiene practices, etc. are some of the important lifestyle factors that may act as possible cervical cancer reasons.

HPV infection, which is sexually transmitted, is one of the possible cervical cancer causes. It is possible for women to get HPV infections from men. If this infection becomes persistent and is not treated, it may lead to cervical cancer. Opting for HPV vaccination and practicing safe sex can help reduce cervical cancer risk in women.

Cervical cancer typically starts with the transformation zone cells on the cervix, where the squamous epithelial cells meet the glandular cells. These cells are most susceptible to HPV infection and abnormal changes that may lead to cancer.

Having multiple sexual partners is identified as one of the possible cervical cancer causes, as it increases the risk of HPV exposure. Opting for safer and healthier sexual practices, on the other hand, can help one reduce cervical cancer risk.

The following factors have been found to increase the risk of cervical cancer:

  • Persistent HPV infection
  • Early pregnancies and multiple pregnancies
  • Having multiple sexual partners
  • Compromised immune system
  • Smoking
  • Poor hygiene
  • Not opting for regular screening
  • Long-term usage of birth-control pills
  • Family history of cervical cancer

Yes. Cervical cancer is treatable. There are multiple treatment options available for cervical cancer. The success rates depend on the stage at which the disease is diagnosed. Early-stage cervical cancers are found to have better success rates than advanced-stage cervical cancers.

Some studies have reported that long-term use of oral contraceptives (birth control pills) may slightly increase the risk of cervical cancer. For more information on the use of oral contraceptives and the cervical cancer risk associated with them, it is advisable to talk to a specialist.