The histological types of the cervical carcinoma effect the incidence, prognosis and the treatment methods. One hundred and eighty-seven cases selected randomly among the cervical carcinoma were stained with mucicarmen, alcian blue, PAS, and PAS with diastase to identify the presence of intracellular mucin. One hundred and seventy-two squamous carcinoma were examined and 27.3% (37 cases) of them were shown to contain some degree intracellular mucin (nine cases which were originally diagnosed squamous carcinoma after the application of mucin stains to the tumors, reclassified as adenosquamous carcinoma because of demonstrated widespread intracellular mucus). Of the 14 adenocarcinomas, 13 were mucin positive. Mucin-positive tumors (independent of histological type) had metastasized to the lymph nodes in 23 of 60 cases (38.3%), in contrast to mucin-negative rumors which had metastasized in 24 of 127 cases (18.9%). The application of mucin stains can assist in the classification of poorly differentiated lesions as well as help in the planning of management and in the prognosis. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.