• Haldun Güner
  • Çagatay Taskiran

Turk J Obstet Gynecol 2007;4(1):11-19

Cervical cancer is the second most common malignancy of women following breast cancer in the world. Overall 493.000 new cases are diagnosed and 274.000 women die of disease at each year. It is the only cancer having efficient screening program. Therefore the vast majority of the cases could be diagnosed and treated before invasive stage. Since the cervix is external genital organ, the carcinogenesis of cervical cancer is investigated in detail. The development of cancer takes a long duration, therefore the patients could be diagnosed at preinvasive stage and approximately all of these women could be treated succesively. The epidemiological risk factors of cervical cancer includes the age at first intercourse, number of lifetime sexual partners, high parity, socioeconomical status, and smoking. Especially the importance of parity have been known since 150 years and several investigators have been tried to explain the exact relation of cervical cancer and sexual contact. Many different sexually transmitted diseases and viruses were investigated to prove any relation. During 1970s, Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) was reported to be the causative agent of cervical cancer. Today it is widely accepted that the main factor of development of cervical cancer is HPV. Other risk factors are generally related with the viral dissemination or carcinogenesis. Since the main cuasative agent is a virus, protective vaccines have been developed. By the use of these preventive vaccines the incidence and mortality rates of cervical cancer would be decreased significantly all over the world.

Keywords: Cervical cancer, epidemiology, risk factors, HPV.