Skip to main content

Cervical cancer

This page provides information for women, their partners and families about cervical cancer. 

About cervical cancer

Cervical cancer affects the cells of the lining of the cervix (the neck of the womb), which is the opening from the womb to the vagina and also the canal that connects the womb to the vagina.

The links below provide more information about cervical cancer:

  • Cancer Research UK
    Includes information about diagnosing, treating and living with cervical cancer
  • The Eve Appeal
    Includes information about key messages, early signs and symptoms, leading risk factors and actions that may reduce the risk of developing cervical cancer
  • Jo’s Trust
    Includes information about symptoms, causes, risk factors, treatments, moving forward after a diagnosis and more
  • Macmillan
    Information and support for people affected by cervical cancer  
  • NHS Choices
    Includes information on symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatment, complications, prevention, and living with cervical cancer
  • Women’s Health Concern - factsheet
    Cervical cancer factsheet
  • Women’s Health Concern - focus on cervical cancer
    Overview of cervical cancer, including screening, symptoms, diagnosis and treatments

Cervical screening (smear test)

Taking part in the NHS cervical cancer screening programme is your best protection against developing cervical cancer. Screening can detect abnormalities that may develop into cervical cancer over time.

The links below provide more information about cervical screening:

Making a choice about your treatment

There will be choices to make about the type of treatment you wish to receive. You will probably have a lot of questions and may wish to discuss your options with family and friends. To begin with, try to get answers to three key questions:

  • What are my options?
  • What are the pros and cons of each option for me?
  • How do I get support to help me make a decision that is right for me?

For more information about working with your healthcare professional to make the right choice for you, please visit the NHS Shared Decision Making website.

About the links on this page

Some of the information this page links to  is not produced by the RCOG. Our policy on publishing links to third-party sites outlines how we decide which sites to link to, and our terms and conditions include a disclaimer about the RCOG’s responsibility for information on linked sites.

Please give us your feedback

We would like to understand how people are using this resource to help ensure it is relevant and useful. To give us your feedback, please complete our short survey.

If you have any questions, please email

Elsewhere on the site

Medical terms explained
A–Z of common medical words in women’s health
About the RCOG
Find out about our work to improve women’s health worldwide