- Constitutes about 20% of all malignant gynecological tumors.
- Third in its commonness after the uterus and ovary cancer.
- Incidence of about 15 cases for every 100,000 women world wide (74 in brazil, 5.5 in Israel, more common in third world countries where the death rate is also higher).
- Average age of discovery is around 50 with two peaks: 35-39 and 60-64.
- Pre-malignant afflictions are usually discovered at a younger age.
- The most common tumor is squamous cell carcinoma (85%-90%)
Risk factors for cervical cancer:
- Sexual intercourse at an early age.
- Large number of sexual partners.
- Low socio-economical background.
- Sexually transmitted diseases (HSV, HIV).
- Low immune system activity due to use of medication or to AIDS.
- A partner suffering from a sexually transmitted disease.
Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is the number one cause of cervical cancer. An infection by this virus may cause cervical cancer. Papilloma is a group of viruses which can infect various organs in the human body including the cervix. There are more then a hundred types of the Human Papilloma Virus, most of which are relatively harmless. For example - those that cause warts that appear on the arms and legs. In most cases, the immune system can deal with the virus, however some of the viruses may cause health problems and benign or malignant tumors, depending on the virus type.
Screening for early discovery of cervical cancer:
An early discovery of changes in the cervical cells using a regular cervical screeing by Pap test or HPV test is very important for treating and preventing cancer. In the last few decades there has been a rise in the number of known cases with pre-cancerous conditions, and decline in the number of cervical cancer cases. This is attributed to early discovery.