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Cervical Cancer Center

Cervical Cancer Causes and Risk Factors

What causes cervical cancer?
Cervical cancer is caused by several types of a virus called human papillomaviruses (HPV). The virus spreads through sexual contact. Most women's bodies are able to fight HPV infection. But sometimes the virus leads to cancer.

Risk Factors
Some factors might contribute to the development of cervical cancer. For example, you're at higher risk of cervical cancer if you smoke, have many children, use birth control pills for a long time, or have an HIV infection. A woman has a higher-than-average risk of developing cervical if she:

  • began having sexual relations before the age of 18
  • has a partner who has had sexual contact with a woman with cervical cancer
  • has had multiple sexual partners

Other risk factors for the developing cancer of the cervix include:

  • chemical exposure
  • chlamydia infection (past or current)
  • diet
  • douching
  • hormonal medications
  • infrequent Pap test history
  • miscarriage prevention medications
  • poverty
  • smoking
  • weakened immune system

Do you know how to recognize signs or symptoms of cervical cancer? Cervical cancer symptoms can go unnoticed because they mimic so many other ailments. Learn what to look for and how to identify possible symptoms of cervical cancer in our next section on Cervical Cancer Symptoms that follows.

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