What increases my risk of cervical cancer?
The following increase your risk of developing cervical cancer:
- HPV virus: Nearly all cervical cancers are caused by the HPV virus. This is a common virus passed on during sexual contact. Usually it clears up by itself, although this can take up to 18 months.
- Smoking: Smoking increases your risk of abnormal changes (CIN). Chemicals in cigarettes can affect how your cervix fights HPV infection.
- Not having cervical screening: Having regular cervical screening tests can help to find out if you're at risk and to spot any changes to cervical cells before they turn cancerous.
Having a risk factor doesn’t mean you will get cancer. Sometimes women with no risk factors get the disease. If you’re worried, talk to your GP or talk to one of our cancer nurses. Call our Support Line on 1800 200 700 or visit a Daffodil Centre.
Most people will get HPV infection in their lifetime. HPV can cause cancer in men and women. The HPV vaccine helps to prevent cancer.
We know quitting smoking can be difficult. If you're thinking about quitting, or you'd like to help a friend or family member to do so, we can help!
Cervical cancer screening is not a test for cancer, it's a test to spot those who are at risk. It could save your life.
For more information
1800 200 700