What are the Causes & Risk Factor of Cervical Cancer?
Several factors are implicated as causative, but the sexually transmitted HPV is most commonly linked to cervical cancer
The causes for cervical cancer are not clearly understood, however, Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) infection is strongly associated with it. An infection of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) increases the susceptibility to develop cervical carcinoma. Other risk factors are:
- Age: Cervical cancer affects mostly the middle-aged, and is seen rarely in women below 15years
- Smoking: Cigarette smoking women are at twice the risk of developing cervical cancer in comparison to non-smokers
- Race: Certain races and ethnic groups like African- American, Hispanics and native Americans are genetically predisposed to develop cervical cancer
- Promiscuity: Having multiple sex- partners or having a partner who is promiscuous, increases the chances of developing cervical cancer
- STD: A history of a sexually-transmitted disease makes a woman susceptible to develop cervical cancer
- Reproductive History: Having seven or more number of full- term pregnancies predisposes a woman to develop cervical cancer
- Oral Contraceptives: Long -term use of oral contraceptives makes a woman more prone to develop cervical cancer
- Diethylstilbestrol (DES): Daughters of women who were given the drug DES during pregnancy to prevent miscarriage are at increased risk of developing cervical cancer. This drug was used until around 1970.