Cervical cancer can grow from the surface of the cervix seen in the vagina, called the ectocervix, or from the canal going from the vagina to the uterus, called the endocervix.
There are 2 main types of cervical cancer named for the type of cell where cancer started. Other types of cervical cancer are rare.
- Squamous cell carcinoma makes up about 80% to 90% of all cervical cancers. These cancers start in the cells on the outer surface covering the cervix.
- Adenocarcinoma makes up 10% to 20% of all cervical cancers. These cancers start in the glandular cells that line the lower birth canal in the internal portion of the cervix.
The squamous and glandular cells meet at the opening of the cervix at the squamocolumnar junction, which is the location at which most cervical cancers start.