Cervical cancer

What is cervical cancer?

Cervical cancer is cancer that forms in a woman's cervix, at the lower part of the uterus. It is caused by a virus called human papillomavirus (HPV). This is a common virus which also causes genital warts. There are many different types of HPV virus, and only a few are linked to the development of cervical cancer.

There is now a vaccination which can protect against certain types of HPV, including most of those that cause cervical cancer. This has the potential to significantly reduce the numbers of woman affected by cervical cancer.

Cervical cancer is a serious medical condition that requires prompt attention and treatment.


You may have experienced abnormal vaginal bleeding or have an abnormal cervical pap smear.

The cervical cancer-screening program is designed to identity ‘pre-cancer’ and early cervical cancer, so it can be effectively treated before serious disease ensues.


Treatment of cervical cancer requires a specialist in gynaecologist cancers. This doctor is called a gynaecology oncologist. The doctors at Aceso Health will liaise with the excellent team at Wellington Hospital for ongoing care.

Treatment depends on the extent of the cancer. It may require surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy.

How we can help

If you think you may have cervical cancer and would like to talk to us about how we can help, please feel free to contact us. You can also request an appointment online.

Further reading

Further information


Bleeding after sex

Post-coital bleeding usually occurs within 24 hours of intercourse. In most cases it is nothing to worry about, but should be investigated if persistent or if you are concerned. Common causes are cervical polyps and cervical ectropion. An uncommon cause is cervical cancer. Find out more

Bleeding between periods

This is quite common, and if you experience just a single episode you need not be overly concerned. Common causes are oral contraceptives and other hormonal therapies. Persistent bleeding may be caused by genital tract infections, polyps within the uterus or cervix, or possibly cervical cancer. Find out more



A colposcopy is performed when a woman has had abnormal pap smears. A speculum is placed in the vagina, and the cervix visualised using a colposcope. This provides a magnified view of the cervix so that a targeted biopsy can be taken. Find out more