Types of cervical cancer


The 2 main types of cervical cancer are named after the type of cells they originate from:[1]

  • Squamous cell carcinoma: the most common type of cervical cancer (up to 90% of all cases), squamous cell carcinoma starts in the squamous cells of the cervix.
  • Adenocarcinoma: a less common type of cervical cancer that develops from the glandular cells. Adenocarcinoma is more difficult to diagnose because it starts higher in the cervix, and is more difficult to reach with the brush or spatula used in a Cervical Screening Test.

Screening using HPV testing has the potential to improve detection of squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma and its precursors.

A small number of cervical cancers involve both squamous cells and glandular cells. These are known as adenosquamous carcinomas or mixed carcinomas.