Stages, types and grades

The stage of a cancer tells you about its size and whether it has spread. The type means the type of cell the cancer started from. The grade means how abnormal the cells look under the microscope.

Your doctor uses all of this information to help them decide on which treatment you need.

Types and grades

There are different types of cervical cancer. The most common type is squamous cell cancer. Cancer cells are divided into 3 grades.

Stage 1

Stage 1 means that the cancer is only in the neck of the womb (cervix). Surgery is the main treatment. Some people need chemoradiotherapy too.

Stage 2

Stage 2 means the cancer has spread outside the cervix, into the surrounding tissues. The main treatments are a combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy (chemoradiotherapy) and sometimes surgery. 

Stage 3

Stage 3 means the cancer has spread from the cervix into the structures around it or into the lymph nodes in the pelvis or abdomen. Treatment is usually a combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy (chemoradiotherapy). 

Stage 4

Stage 4 means the cancer has spread to the bladder or back passage (rectum) or further away. The main treatments are chemotherapy with a targeted cancer drug, surgery, radiotherapy or symptom control. 

Small cell cancer of the cervix

Small cell cancer of the cervix is a rare type of cervical cancer. It is a type of neuroendocrine cancer. Treatment is with surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. 

Last reviewed: 
23 Jul 2020
Next review due: 
23 Jul 2023
Coronavirus and cancer

We know it’s a worrying time for people with cancer, we have information to help.

Read our information about coronavirus and cancer