About Cervical Cancer
If you have any health concerns you should refer these to your doctor. The information contained on these pages has been compiled to offer general background information.
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Incidence of cervical cancer
- Cervical cancer is the 4th most common cancer in women
- Cervical cancer is the 11th most common cancer overall
- 528,000 new cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed each year
- Responsible for 266,000 deaths annually
The role of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) in Cervical Cancer
- HPV is a DNA virus from the Papoviridae family of viruses, which infect the basal layer cells of the epithelium
- There are more than 100 different types of HPV, many of which are oncogenic and implicated in a range of cancers including oral, laryngeal and cervical cancer.
- Up to 30 different types can infect the genital region via sexual activity and HPV is believed to be the most common sexually transmitted virus.
Sexually Transmitted HPVs fall into 2 categories:
a) Low risk HPVs: (lr-HPV) do not cause cancer but are responsible for genital warts, e.g. types 6, 11
b) High risk HPVs: (hr HPV) oncogenic (cause cancer).
Prevalence of HPV types varies geographically but hr- HPVs have been found in 99% of cervical cancer. The most common high risk for cervical cancer are types 16 and 18 with types 31 and 33 slightly less prevalent.