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5 Common risk factors for cervical cancer

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Gytree Team
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Risk factors for cervical cancer

Verified by Dr. Vaishali Sakpal Rane (MBBS, DGO Obstetrics and Gynaecology, DNB Obstetrics and Gynaecology)

Cervical cancer is the cancer that begins at any part of the cervix. It occurs most commonly when the normally present healthy cells of the cervix mutate or become infected with human papillomavirus (HPV) and grow out uncontrollably, forming a mass called a tumor and can develop into cancer.

Risk factors for cervical cancer are certain conditions or characteristics that can increase the chances of developing a disease. You must know that having one or many risk factors does not mean that you are certainly going to get the disease. Some people can get the disease without any risk factors in their life and some don’t get the disease even after having a number of risk factors. 

Let’s understand the risk factors for Cervical cancer:

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Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection

HPV infection is the most common sexually transmitted infections and nearly all cases of cervical cancer are caused by certain strains of HPV (human papillomavirus). It is important to know that most people clear the HPV without getting any disease, they all don’t get cancer. But certain HPV strains like HPV16 and HPV18 are frequently associated with cervical cancer. It’s important to learn and be aware about the HPV vaccine which can prevent cervical cancer.

Oral contraceptives

There have been certain research studies that suggest that oral contraceptives may  be associated with an increased risk of cervical cancer, however there’s still more research going on to know the link.

Immune system deficiency

A weakened immune system can be the risk factor for developing cervical cancer. Immune compromised people are always at high risk of getting diseases and infections.

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Risk factors for cervical cancer

Smoking

Smoking is always harmful and in the case of being a risk factor for cervical cancer, studies show that people who smoke tobacco are about twice as likely to develop cervical cancer as compared to people who don’t smoke.

Age

The risk factor of getting HPV is less for people younger than 20 years old. The risk goes up between the late teens and mid-30s. After 30s the risk remains so there’s a need for regular HPV screenings.

There are no proven ways to completely prevent this disease, but there are certain steps that you can take to lower your risk of getting cervical cancer. It’s important to consult a  doctor and take the HPV vaccine, which can be given starting at age 9 years and also go to regular screening for cervical cancer.

Cervical cancer
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