The cervix is the narrow part of the uterus which connects to the vagina or birth canal. In other words, the cervix is a passageway in the female reproductive system and is responsible for creating the mucus necessary to help the sperm move from the vagina into the uterus and fertilize the egg.
The cervix consists of two main types of cells – squamous cells and glandular or columnar cells. These cells cover the cervix at different places and the place where the cells meet is known as the transformation zone. Most cervical cancers develop in this zone.
In a normal body, cells divide and form new cells continuously. Newly formed cells then take the place of old damaged cells. In some cases, while new cells continue to develop, the old cells do not die but build up into a mass of tissue. This is what is called a tumor or growth. These tumors can be benign - cysts, warts or polyps or be malignant and become a threat to life. Malignant cells or cancer cells invade the tissues and organs around them and can soon spread and affect other parts of the body. This is known as metasis or the spread of cancer. Cervical cancer is the third most common type of cancer in women today.