What Is the Connection between Cervical and Ovarian Cancer?

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  • Written By: Erin J. Hill
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 14 October 2018
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One of the main connections between cervical and ovarian cancer is that cancer within the cervix can sometimes spread into the ovaries. Those who have suffered from cervical cancer may also be at an increased risk of developing both ovarian and uterine cancers later in life. This will depend on several factors, including the patient's age and health history.

Cervical cancer is a malignancy which occurs on or in the woman's cervix. It can affect only the outer area of the organ, or it can migrate further inside and eventually spread to other sexual organs. Ovarian cancer occurs in one or both ovaries. Sometimes cervical and ovarian cancer may be present simultaneously, especially in those with primary cancer inside of the uterus. Other times, cervical cancer will eventually spread into the uterine wall and ovaries.

There is a yearly test for cervical cancer available, and this has lowered the death rate dramatically in industrialized nations. Cervical cancers are often slow-growing and easier to treat than other gynecological cancers. Both cervical and ovarian cancer can occur in women of any age, although cervical cancers occur more often in younger women than ovarian and uterine cancer. It is also most likely to be caught in its earlier stages than other cancers because of early screening methods and treatments.


Both cervical and ovarian cancer are often asymptomatic. Women generally do not know they have either cancer until the later stages unless screening is performed. There is a yearly test which can detect most cases of cervical cancer, but there is no such testing performed in healthy women for ovarian cancer. Those who are found to have more advanced stages of cancers of the cervix may be tested for ovarian and uterine cancers as well.

Later symptoms of ovarian cancer can include stomach pain, bleeding between periods, and irregular periods. Cervical cancer may cause bleeding and increased cervical discharge, although many women experience no symptoms even in later stages of this disease. Ovarian cancer is often much more aggressive than cervical cancers, although both are serious medical conditions. Treatments for both forms of cancer may include surgery to remove the primary tumors, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Natural remedies may also be explored in certain cases. Sometimes, one or both ovaries and sometimes the cervix itself may need to be removed.



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