Women develop cervical cancer when the DNA in the cells in their cervix mutate and divide into abnormal, precancerous cells. HPV causes most cervical cancer cases. Other factors that are thought to contribute to cervical cancer are being sexually active at an early age or having multiple sexual partners and using birth control pills. These are important risk factors because the medical evidence shows that they can cause HPV.
HPV and cervical cancer
There is more than 100 kind of HPV strains that can infect women of any age. These strains can be divided into two categories:
- Low risk
- High risk
Most HPV strains/viruses fall in this category.
Two strains of HPV cause 70% of all cervical cancer cases: HPV-16 and HPV-18.
Who is most prone to getting HPV?
Unlike most STDs, HPV is ubiquitous. The latest research reveals that 80% of women will have contracted HPV before they turn 50. It is noted that it is rare for HPV to cause cervical cancer – most (90%) of women who develop HPV will have it disappear (their immune systems will attack and kill the virus) within two years. 10% of women whose immune systems are not able to kill the disease tend to develop precancerous cells, which lead to cervical cancer. They are said to have ‘persistent infection.’