Cervical Cancer

Risk factors

When you get diagnosed of cervical cancer, it's natural to wonder what may have caused the disease. Doctors usually can't explain why one woman develops cervical cancer and another doesn't.However, we do know that a woman with certain risk factors may be more likely than other women to develop cervical cancer. A risk factor is something that may increase the chance of developing a disease.

Studies have found that infection with the virus called HPV is the cause of almost all cervical cancers. Most adults have been infected with HPV at some time in their lives, but most infections clear up on their own. An HPV infection that doesn't go away can cause cervical cancer in some women.
Other risk factors, such as smoking, can act to increase the risk of cervical cancer among women infected with HPV even more.

Getting regular cervical cancer screening tests can reduce a woman’s risk of cervical cancer. If abnormal cervical cell changes are found early, removing or killing the changed cells before they become cancer cells can prevent cancer.

Another way a woman can reduce her risk of cervical cancer is by getting an HPV vaccine before becoming sexually active (between the ages of 9 and 26). Even women who get an HPV vaccine need regular cervical cancer screening tests.


Early cervical cancers usually don't cause symptoms. When the cancer grows larger, women may notice abnormal vaginal bleeding

  • Bleeding that occurs between regular menstrual periods

  • Bleeding after sexual intercourse, douching, or a pelvic exam

  • Menstrual periods that last longer and are heavier than before

  • Bleeding after going through menopause

Women may also notice...
  • Increased vaginal discharge

  • Pelvic pain

  • Pain during sex

Cervical cancer, infections, or other health problems may cause these symptoms. A woman with any of these symptoms should tell her doctor so that problems can be diagnosed and treated as early as possible.

Join thousands of women worldwide who have taken steps to protect themselves against a potential killer.
  • The most effective means of addressing cervical cancer is prevention and vaccination.

  • Ask your Dis-Chem Nursing Practitioner about our Cervical Cancer Detection & Protection Programme.

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