If cervical cancer spreads
Cancer cells can spread from the cervix to other parts of the body. The new tumour is called a metastasis or secondary tumour. If more than one tumour develops in another part of the body, they are called metastases.
Understanding how a type of cancer usually grows and spreads helps your healthcare team plan your treatment and future care. Doctors usually describe cervical cancer spread based on the structures the tumour grows into or where the cancer cells spread.
Once cervical cancer has spread into the stromal tissue (the supporting connective tissue layer of the cervix), it can then grow into the following nearby organs and tissues
Cancer cells can spread from a tumour in the cervix to nearby and distant lymph nodes. Once in the lymph nodes, the cells can travel through the lymphatic system to other parts of the body.
The most common lymph nodes where cervical cancer spreads are:
Cervical cancer can also spread to distant organs, including the:
Cancer that has spread to lymph nodes outside the pelvis is considered a distant metastasis.
Symptoms of cervical cancer
Cervical cancer may not cause any signs or symptoms in its early stages. Symptoms often appear once the tumour grows into surrounding tissues and organs. Other health conditions can cause the same symptoms as cervical cancer.
See your doctor if you have these symptoms:
Late symptoms develop as the cancer grows larger or spreads to other parts of the body, including other organs. Late symptoms of cervical cancer include: