Difference Wiki | Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Adenocarcinoma Cervix

The key difference between squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma cervix is that squamous cell carcinoma cervix begins in the thin, flat cells at the bottom of the cervix, while adenocarcinoma cervix begins in the column-shaped, glandular cells at the upper portion of the cervix.

Cervical cancer is a type of cancer involving cells of the cervix, which is the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina. Moreover, various strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV) that cause sexually transmitted infections play a pivotal role in most cervical cancer pathogenesis. There are two main types of cervical cancers: squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma cervix.

What is Squamous Cell Carcinoma Cervix?

Squamous cell carcinoma cervix begins in the thin, flat cells lining the bottom of the cervix. Squamous cells are thin, flat, skin-like cells covering the outer surface of the cervix or ectocervix. It is estimated that 70 to 80 out of every 100 cervical cancers are squamous cell cancers. Normally, there is a tiny passage through the middle of the cervix leading to the cavity of the uterus. The squamous epithelium generally lines the cervix from this opening outwards. Moreover, the inside of the cervix has a more fragile epithelium line. Under normal circumstances, this line is not exposed to the environment. Certain circumstances like hormonal changes in the pregnancy and oral contraceptives can cause this inner lining from the insides of the cervix to move outwards. Later, it will be visible on the outside of the cervix. Doctors refer to this situation as erosion; most probably, the starting point of squamous cell carcinoma cervix.

The risk factors for this cancer include multiple sexual partners, sex with a partner having penile warts, intercourse without barrier contraceptives, and cigarette smoking. Squamous cell carcinoma cervix can be diagnosed through medical history, physical examination, PAP smear (cervical cytology), and imaging testing. Furthermore, treatment options for squamous cell carcinoma cervix may include techniques like needle and ball diathermy, surgery to remove the cervix, tubes, uterus, and ovaries with a small segment of the vagina, and radiotherapy.