Risk Factors for Cervical Cancer
As in other cancer types, also in cervical cancer the onset of the disease can be promoted by specific risk factors. These may be genetical or environmental factors.
Several risk factors have been identified. Lifestyle habits influence the risk for cervical cancer, as do social circumstances (high risk in developing countries), toxic agents and drugs.
Some women are more at risk than others. Following factors increase the chances of Cervical Cancer in women:
- Human Papilloma Virus:HPV is a widely spread sexually transmitted agent. HPV infection has been identified as the most import risk factor for cervical cancer. Among more than 100 "benign" types of HPV there are agressive strains (most imortant: HPV 16 and 18) which can lead to malignant transformation of cervical cells.
- Multiple Sex partners: Women who have more than one sex partner are at higher risk by increasing the chance of a Human Pappilomavirus infection.
- Early Sexual activity: Women who have had had early sexual activity ,before 18 years of age are more at risk as the Cervical cells are very fragile at this young age.
- Other STD infections: Women who have had some other Sexually Transmitted Disease (AIDS, GONARRAHEA) are more prone to Cervical Cancer.
- Family history of cervical cancer: Some families show a higher incidence of cervical cancer. Some scientists believe they might carry a genetic condition making them more sensible for the negative effects of HPV infections.
- Age: Age seems to play a definite role as this cancer is more common in 40 plus women and quite rare in women less then 15 years of age. Cervical cancer seems to be more pronounced as age progresses which might be due to the simple reason that after women reach the menopause many of them think that there is no more need for a Pap Smear Test .
- Contraceptive Pills: Women who are regularly on the pills may get Cervical Cancer faster as they do not use condoms which are more suited to prevent STD’s.
- Cigarette Smoking: Traces of chemicals found in smoke and cigarettes have been isolated in the cervical tissue of women who smoke. This indicates a strong correlation between the two.
- Income/socioeconomic status: Since the earning levels are directly related to the living standards ,lower income women are almost 5 times more at risk than higher income groups.
- Race: African Asian women are at higher risk of having cervical cancer and are more likely to have an advanced stage at the time of detection than Caucasian Women. Hispanic women are also more prone to cervical cancer.
- Unhealthy diets: Improper diet is also a reason that can put women at risk. Malnutrition is also recognized as a cause.
- High fasting Glucose levels: Incidences of cervical cancer are more in the women who have 140mg/DL levels of Glucose Sugar.
- Presence of abnormal cells: Cells like Dyskaryosis increase the risk levels of Cancer.
- Multiple pregnancies: Multiple child birth may also increase the risk of cervical cancer in the women.
- DES: Daughters of women who had used the drug DES (Diethylstilbestrol) in early 1970’s are said to be on higher risk of Cervical Cancer.
- www.cancer.org - What are the risk factors for cervical cancer
- www.cancerscreening.nhs.uk - cervical cancer - incidence, mortality and risk factors
- Harvard Center for Cancer Prevention - risk factors for cervical cancer
This page was last updated:
April 22, 2006It is not the intention of Cervicalcancer.org to provide specific medical advice, but rather to provide users with information to better understand their health and their diagnosed disorders. Specific medical advice will not be provided, and Cervicalcancer.org urges you to consult with a qualified physician for diagnosis and for answers to your personal questions.