Cervical cancer is gradual develops gradually, beginning as a pre-cancerous condition called dysplasia. It is usually a slow-growing cancer and if caught early can be successfully treated. Routine Pap smears can detect early changes in the cells of the cervix, allowing cervical cancer to be diagnosed early. The new human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine will prevent most cases of cervical cancer.
Review Date: 1/25/2013
Reviewed By: Harvey Simon, MD, Editor-in-Chief, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Senior Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital.