Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that happens in the cells of the cervix — the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina. Different strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection, play a role in causing most cervical cancer.
When exposed to HPV, a woman’s immune system usually prevents the virus from doing harm. In a small group of women; however, the virus survives for years, contributing to the process that causes some cells on the surface of the cervix to become cancer cells. You can help lower your risk of developing cervical cancer by having screening tests and receiving a vaccine that protects against HPV infection.