ZocdocAnswersCan women without a cervix get cervical cencer?

Question

Can women without a cervix get cervical cencer?

This may sound strange, but even though I had my cervix removed several years ago as part of a total hysterectomy, I'm beginning to believe that a lot of the symptoms I've had recently match up with cervial cancer. Is it possible to get cervical cancer (or something like it) even though you have no cervix?

Answer

Cervical cancer is, as you know, a common type of cancer in women but which has been decreasing steadily due to good screening. The doctors who will be well qualified to discuss this issue with you include your primary care doctor or your OB / GYN doctor. Cervical cancer is usually associated with prior infection by the human papilloma virus, a sexually transmitted virus. Subsequently it causes cells in the cervix to at times transform into cancer cells. This transformation is what is looked for with a pap smear. Most women who have had a hysterectomy no longer have their cervix, as this is usually removed. In these cases, as long as the uterus was removed for some other reason, they no longer have a cervix and are unlikely to get cervical cancer. In people who had the uterus removed as part of treatment for cervical cancer, the thought is that there may be a few residual cervix cells left in the scar, and they should continue to be screened for cervical cancer. Occasionally a uterus is taken out but the cervix is left in place; these women should continue to be screened for cervical cancer. As always, the diagnosis and the management of your particular concern will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Scheduling an appointment with your primary care doctor or your OB / GYN doctor is advised.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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