It is estimated that there will be about 11,270 new cases of
cervical cancer in the United States in 2009.2Cervical cancer is the second most common type of cancer in
women worldwide.3 The two groups of women with the
highest rates of cervical cancer are those from ages 35 to 39 and those from
ages 60 to 64.1
About half of women
diagnosed with cervical cancer have never had a Pap test. Another 10% of women
diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer have not had a Pap test in the last 5
Did You Know?
Under the Affordable Care Act, many health insurance plans will provide free women’s preventive services, including mammograms, birth control and well-woman visits. Learn more.
The most significant risk factor
for cervical cancer is a persistent infection with a high-risk type
human papillomavirus (HPV).
infected with a high-risk type of HPV or having other risk factors increases
the chance that a woman with an HPV infection will develop abnormal cervical
cell changes that may need further treatment.
The incidence of
cervical cancer has decreased in developed countries around the world because
of an increase in the use of Pap test screening and appropriate follow-up
treatment. In developing countries, the Pap test is not as readily available as
it is in more developed countries. Because of this, abnormal cervical cell
changes in women who live in developing countries may progress to cervical
cancer without the benefit of detection and treatment.
Guintoli RL II, Bristow RE (2008). Cervical cancer. In
RS Gibbs et al., eds., Danforth's Obstetrics and Gynecology, 10th ed., pp. 971-988. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and
National Cancer Institute (2010). Cervical Cancer (PDQ): Prevention-Health Professional Version.
Sundar S, et al. (2008). Cervical cancer, search date
November 2006. Online version of BMJ Clinical Evidence.
Also available online: http://www.clinicalevidence.com.
Primary Medical Reviewer
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Ross Berkowitz, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
August 30, 2010
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
August 30, 2010
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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