Mayo Clinic Health Library

Question

Cervical cysts: Can they be cancerous?

Can cervical cysts be cancerous?

Updated: 03-26-2011

Answer

Cervical cysts — mucus-filled lumps that form on the cervix — are rarely cancerous. These cysts form when normal tissue on the outer part of the cervix (squamous epithelium) grows over the glandular, mucus-producing tissue of the inner part of the cervix (endocervical canal), trapping mucus and forming cysts.

Cervical cysts often are discovered incidentally during a pelvic exam. They generally don't cause symptoms and require no treatment.

If a cervical cyst looks unusual to your doctor, or you also have signs and symptoms that suggest cervical cancer — for instance, abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge, pelvic pain, or pain during intercourse — your doctor may perform a biopsy of your cervix.