• Cervical Cancer Risk Factors

Cervical Cancer Risk Factors

Simply put, cervical cancer affects the cervix, the lower part of the Uterus which is attached to the Vagina. Cervical cancer can affect women of any age, but it is essential to comprehend cervical cancer risk factors for prevention and early detection. Get yourself familiarised with those risk factors through this article.

What Are the Risk Factors for Cervical Cancer?

The cervical cancer risk factors heighten the chances of getting this type of cancer;

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Infection

HPV, a sexually transmitted infection, affects cervix cells by causing abnormal alterations that, if left untreated, can develop into cervical cancer. HPV is one of the most crucial risk factors for cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is not necessarily more likely to develop in people with certain HPV types. However, HPV-16 and HPV-18 are mainly linked to the disease. Cervical cancer does not necessarily develop in all HPV-positive women.

Immune System Deficiency

The poor immune system, be it because of a significant disease or organ transplant, heightens the chances of cervical cancer.


The herpes simplex virus (HSV) is a frequent sexually transmitted infection and is another cervical cancer risk factor. Women who have genital herpes may have swelling and blisters in that area, which can raise their risk of contracting HPV

Another crucial risk factor for cervical cancer is the human papillomavirus (HPV). Studies have indicated that women with both herpes and HPV have a greater risk of developing cervical cancer than women who only have HPV. This is because herpes-related inflammation can facilitate HPV infection of cervical cells and the development of cancer-causing aberrant alterations


Smoking has always been a crucial risk factor for cervical cancer and all kinds of diseases for men and women alike. Studies have proven cervical cancer is more among smokers than non-smokers.


The crucial time for women at risk of cervical cancer is 35 to 44 though getting at another age is not unlikely.

Socioeconomic Factors

Socioeconomic circumstances can significantly influence the risk of cervical cancer in women. According to studies, women with a low socioeconomic class or those who are poor have a higher risk of acquiring cervical cancer than those with higher socioeconomic status. Socioeconomic factors can raise the risk of cervical cancer for several reasons, including:

  • Lack of healthcare access: Women with poor socioeconomic levels may not have easy access to healthcare services, such as cervical cancer screenings, which increases the risk of cervical cancer going undetected.
  • Low health literacy: Women are more likely to receive a delayed diagnosis and treatment if they have little information about cervical cancer and how to prevent it.
  • Poor nutrition: Women with low socioeconomic levels may have more difficulty accessing appropriate foods and eat poorly, impairing their immune systems and raising their chance of developing cervical cancer.
  • Lack of education: This makes it more difficult for them to comprehend the value of testing for cervical cancer and other preventive actions.
  • Exposure to Environmental Toxins: Women with poor socioeconomic status may reside in places with higher concentrations of environmental contaminants, such as air pollution and hazardous waste, raising their chance of acquiring cervical cancer.

Yet, there are strategies to deal with these socioeconomic issues and work to increase low-income populations' access to healthcare and knowledge about cervical cancer prevention.

This may entail offering free or inexpensive cervical cancer screenings, expanding the range of nutritious dietary alternatives, fostering health literacy, and educating people about preventing cervical cancer. The discrepancies in cervical cancer rates among various socioeconomic groups can be lessened, and the overall prognosis for the disease can be improved by addressing cervical cancer risk factors.

Oral Contraceptives

Using oral contraceptives for more extended periods exposes women to cervical cancer risk. However, routine checks with a gynecologist may lower this risk.

Exposure To Diethylstilbestrol (DES)

Diethylstilbestrol (DES) exposure is the most crucial risk factor for cervical cancer. To avoid miscarriages and early labor, pregnant women were given DES, a synthetic estrogen during the 1940s and 1970s. However, it was later found that DES can have harmful side effects, including an elevated risk of cervical cancer, on the offspring of women who used the medication.

Clear cell adenocarcinoma (CCA), a rare form of cervical cancer associated with DES exposure, may be more likely to occur in pregnant women exposed to DES. According to studies, women exposed to DES have a tenfold more significant chance of developing CCA than those not.

Exposure to DES may also increase the risk of developing squamous cell dysplasia and cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN). If untreated, these anomalies can develop into cervical cancer.

Regular cervical cancer screenings, such as Pap smears and HPV tests, are crucial for women exposed to DES when they are pregnant to identify any abnormal changes in the cervix early on.

Moreover, compared to women who were not exposed to DES, women who were exposed may require more frequent cervical cancer exams. Women must discuss their history of DES exposure with their healthcare professional and any possible cervical cancer risks.

Treatment for Cervical Cancer

Proton Therapy is one of the most advanced and innovative forms of radiation treatment available for cervical cancer today. This type of therapy uses beams of high-energy protons to target and destroy tumor cells with precision while sparing surrounding healthy tissue, making it an ideal choice for many types of tumors including those located in sensitive areas such as the throat or neck. Regarding proton therapy for treating cervical cancer, Apollo Hospital offers some of the highest levels of expertise and technology available

They have a team of highly-trained and experienced oncologists specializing in proton therapy and using the most advanced technologies available to deliver high-quality care. At Apollo Hospital, their multidisciplinary approach to cervical cancer treatment uses cutting-edge technology and treatments tailored to each patient’s individual needs, ensuring that every patient gets the best possible outcome for their condition.


Women should be aware of their cervical cancer risk factors and take proactive measures to lower that risk. This may entail obtaining routine screenings for cervical cancer, using safe sexual practices, giving up smoking, receiving an HPV vaccine, and leading a healthy lifestyle.

Finally, it should be noted that cervical cancer is a complicated condition influenced by several risk factors. Age, family history, and genetics are a few of these cervical cancer risk factors that cannot be changed.

However, other risk factors, including socioeconomic status, HPV infection, and smoking, can be altered through dietary changes and preventative actions.

Furthering our knowledge of cervical cancer risk factors and strengthening our capacity to prevent them can be facilitated by ongoing research and teaching on the cervical cancer risk factors.