Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer affects only women. The cervix is a short, narrow channel at the bottom of the uterus that leads into the vagina. During childbirth, the cervix dilates (opens) widely to allow the baby into the birth canal.

Most cervical cancers are squamous cell cancers that grow slowly. A major risk factor for the disease is the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is now the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States. Certain strains of HPV are more likely to cause cervical cancer.

Treatments include a number of surgical procedures, internal and external radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy.

The first immunotherapy for cervical cancer, an immune checkpoint inhibitor, was approved in mid-2018 to treat late-stage disease (see Exploring Immunotherapy). It may be an option for women whose cancer has recurred or metastasized during or after chemotherapy.


FDA-Approved Cervical Cancer Immunotherapies*
As of 12/12/18
pembrolizumab (Keytruda)

*Each therapy is prescribed based on specific criteria. Discuss your options with your doctor.

Additional Resources


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