• According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 12,000 women were diagnosed with cervical cancer in the United States in 2005. Understanding cervical cancer and its causes can help you take measures to reduce your chances of developing it.


    Cervical cancer develops in your cervix, the reproductive organ that joins your vagina with your uterus. Healthy cells in your cervix mutate and multiply, eventually forming tumors in your cervical area.

    Main Cause

    Certain strains of human papillomavirus (HPV), a common sexually transmitted infection, cause most cervical cancers. If your immune system can't get rid of the infection completely, it remains in your body for years, eventually causing cervical cancer in some women.

    Risk Factors

    Other factors that make you more likely to develop cervical cancer include smoking, HIV infection, early sexual activity and a history of many sex partners.


    According to the Mayo Clinic, some women experience adenocarcinomas, which is cervical cancer beginning in the cells on the upper part of your cervix, but most women with cervical cancer develop squamous cell carcinomas, cervical cancer beginning in the cells along the bottom of your cervix.


    Since 60 percent of cervical cancers occur in women who have either never been tested or haven't been tested in five years, the CDC suggests that you get a regular Pap test, in which your doctor collects a sample of cervical cells to check for precancerous cells.


    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

    The Mayo Clinic

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

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