Risk factorsBy Mayo Clinic staff
These factors may increase your risk of cervical cancer:
- Many sexual partners. The greater your number of sexual partners — and the greater your partner's number of sexual partners — the greater your chance of acquiring HPV.
- Early sexual activity. Having sex before age 18 increases your risk of HPV.
- Other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). If you have other STIs — such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis or HIV/AIDS — the greater your chance is of also having HPV.
- A weak immune system. Most women who are infected with HPV never develop cervical cancer. However, if you have an HPV infection and your immune system is weakened by another health condition, you may be more likely to develop cervical cancer.
- Cigarette smoking. Smoking and HPV infection may work together to cause cervical cancer.
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- Cervical cancer screening. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/PDF/cervical_screening.pdf. Accessed April 12, 2011.
- HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine: Gardasil. What you need to know. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/vis/downloads/vis-hpv-gardasil.pdf. Accessed April 14, 2011.
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- Your first gynecologic visit. American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/publications/patient_education/bp150.cfm. Accessed April 14, 2011.
- Moyer VA, et al. Screening for cervical cancer: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. Annals of Internal Medicine. http://www.annals.org/content/early/2012/03/14/0003-4819-156-12-201206190-00424.full#sec-9. Accessed March 15, 2012.
- New screening guidelines for cervical cancer. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/news/News/new-screening-guidelines-for-cervical-cancer. Accessed March 15, 2012.