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Causes

Causes

December 15, 2021
Ruchi Garg, MD
Ruchi Garg, MD

Gynecologic Oncology

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The number one cervical cancer cause is HPV, human papilloma virus infection. This is a very common infection and 90% of people who are sexually active actually contract this infection at some point. I always tell this to the patients: most HPV infections resolve, that’s the good news, but about 10% become persistent infections. And these are the women who are at risk of developing cervical cancer, abnormalities, or other such abnormalities. Certain types of HPV, specifically type 16 and 18, are a higher risk and are associated with 70% of cervical cancers. HPV infections lead to mutations or changes in the cervical cells’ DNA. This makes them grow and multiply out of control. As these abnormal cells accumulate, they form a mass, which is called the tumor and our cancer.