Are there different types of cervical cancer?

Cervical cancer starts with cells that are on the surface of the cervix.

There are 2 main types of cervical cancer.

  • Squamous cell carcinoma is cancer of cells that line the outer part of the cervix. These cells are squamous epithelial cells. They line the outer part of the cervix that is closest to the vagina, called the ectocervix. Squamous cell cancers have flat, thin cells. They cover the surface of the ectocervix. This type of cancer most commonly occurs where the ectocervix meets the endocervix, which is the inner part of the cervix.
  • Adenocarcinoma is cancer of the cells lining the inner part of the cervix. These cells are columnar epithelial cells. They line the inner part of the cervix that is closest to the uterus, called the endocervix. They develop from gland cells in the endocervix.