Hide This

FREEHER HealthToolkit

HER Health Toolkit

Sign up for EmpowHER updates and you'll receive our
FREE HER Health Toolkit

Cervical Cancer

Get Email Updates

Related Checklists

Cervical Cancer Guide

Susan Cody HERWriter Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.

ASK

Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!

Ten Cervical Cancer Risk Factors You May Not Know

By Lynette Summerill HERWriter
 
Rate This

Scientists also believe that the immune system is important in destroying cancer cells and slowing their growth and spread, so women infected with HIV have a higher-than-normal risk of a cervical pre-cancer developing into invasive cancer, and the cancer may develop at a faster rate than in women without HIV.

  • Chlamydia infection: Chlamydia is a relatively common kind of bacteria spread by sexual contact that can infect the reproductive system. Chlamydia infection can cause pelvic inflammation, leading to infertility. Some studies have seen a higher risk of cervical cancer in women whose blood test results show signs of past or current chlamydia infection compared with women with normal test results. Since chlamydia often causes no symptoms in women, a woman may not know that she is infected at all unless she is tested for the infection when she gets her annual pelvic exam.
  • Diet: Women with diets low in fruits and vegetables may be at increased risk for cervical cancer. Overweight and obese women are more likely to develop adenocarcinoma (glandular cancer) of the cervix.
  • Oral contraceptives (birth control pills): Credible evidence suggests that taking oral contraceptives for a long time increases the risk of cancer of the cervix. Research suggests that the risk of cervical cancer goes up the longer a woman takes oral contraceptives but the risk goes back down again after oral contraceptives are stopped.

    In a 2007 study, the risk of cervical cancer was doubled in women who took birth control pills longer than 5 years, but the risk returned to normal 10 years after dosing ended. Experts suggest women discuss with their health care provider if the benefits of birth control pills outweigh potential risk. A woman with multiple sexual partners should use condoms to lower her risk of sexually transmitted infections no matter what other form of contraception she uses.

  • Add a Comment2 Comments

    Lynette Summerill HERWriter

    Thanks for your comment Pat. Being screened and knowing the risk factors are good first steps to lowering your cancer risk. Early detection is key to successful treatment. It will be a good day when no woman has to endure this illness.

    January 21, 2010 - 8:31am
    Pat Elliott HERWriter Guide

    Valuable information, Lynette, thanks! This also reinforces the need to be aware of our individual risk factors and to get regular tests as needed, such as pap tests, to detect cancers that are treatable when found in the early stages.

    January 20, 2010 - 5:53pm
    Image CAPTCHA
    Enter the characters shown in the image.
    By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy

    We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

    Improved

    1713 Health

    Changed

    644 Lives

    Saved

    499 Lives
    3 lives impacted in the last 24 hrs Learn More

    Take Our Featured Health Poll

    How vigilant are you about going in for your annual Pap smear and pelvic exam?:
    View Results