The impact of cervical cancer on men as well as their female partners is to be studied in depth for the first time.
The study is being carried out at the postgraduate medical school
Researchers at the University of Surrey in Guildford are planning the UK's biggest study into the psychological and emotional effects of the cancer.
The five-year study will examine whether it brings couples closer together or drives them apart and the effect it has on their sex lives.
The team is hoping to recruit 500 newly diagnosed women and their partners.
Researchers from the postgraduate medical school are being led by consultant surgeon Simon Butler-Manuel and lecturer Alison Nightingale, 32, who was herself diagnosed with cervical cancer in August 2004.
"In my personal experience, cervical cancer is a very, very lonely disease," she said.
"One small-scale study found that partners suffered the same levels of cancer-related distress as the women going through treatment.
"There is virtually no information regarding the response of partners to cervical cancer.
"I think partners are a neglected group of people who probably need a substantial amount of support or at least some way of understanding what is going on."
As well as the effect on partners, the study will look at health problems that can arise after cervical cancer, such as problems with the bowel and bladder.
The aim of the research, for which several cancer charities are being asked for funding, is to help health staff to provide the best support for people with the disease.
People who would like to take part can contact the university.