ZocdocAnswersHow is cervical cancer contracted?

Question

How is cervical cancer contracted?

I am a 30 year old woman. I had unprotected sex a few times when I was younger. Is this the cause of my cervical cancer today?

Answer

First of all, I am sorry to hear that you have cervical cancer. It may be impossible for anyone to tell you with certainty exactly what caused your particular cervical cancer, however I am happy to give you some general information about cervical cancer, and risk factors. Furthermore, you would be able to get a more directed/specific answer from your physician that knows your complete medical history. Thus I would recommend having a discussion with your OB/Gyn about this topic. Cervical cancer in simple terms is a malignant process involving the cervix (opening to the uterus within the vagina). The vast majority of cases of cervical cancer are linked to something called the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). In particular there are 2 different strains of HPV that at considered "high risk" for causing cellular change that can lead to dysplasia (abnormal cell growth) and potentially if it progresses without intervention, can lead to cancer. HPV strain 16 and 18 are involved in about 70% of all cases of cervical cancer. HPV is a sexually transmitted virus, so it is possible that you could have contracted it (if in fact you have HPV that has led to your cervical cancer) from unprotected sex in the past. Again, I would definitely recommend discussing this with your OB/Gyn. I hope this helps.

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