Cervical Cancer Risk Factors
Virtually all cervical cancers are shown to be caused by infection with
HPV (human papillomavirus). HPV is the most common sexually transmitted virus in the United States.
However, HPV is very common and most women with HPV will not get a cervical
disease that requires treatment. Other risk factors for cervical cancer include:
- Weakened immunity due to HIV infection or taking medicines for chronic
disease (i.e. lupus or following an organ transplant)
- Having sex at an early age
Women are encouraged to get regular gynecologic exams that include Pap
testing as a means to identify whether they are at an increased risk.
Failure to get regular exams takes away the opportunity for an early diagnosis
through cervical cancer screening.