The cervix is the part of a woman’s womb that connects her womb and her vagina. Sometimes known as the neck of the womb. It primarily affects women 30-45, it is very rare in women under 25. The UK has a very successful screening programme which is estimated to save over 4,000 lives every year.
How does it develop?
Nearly all squamous cervical cancers are caused by a common sexually transmitted infection called human papillomavirus (HPV). The government have started a vaccination programme for all children at an early age before they could potentially encounter the HPV virus. (e.g. before they have sexual experience.)
Around 80% of people will come into contact with HPV at some stage during their life, but this usually clears up on its own without the need for any treatment.
There are more than 100 different types of virus that makes up the HPV group. It is spread through skin to skin sexual contact (so does not require penetrative sex to be transmitted). If the body is unable to clear the virus, there is a risk of abnormal cells developing, which could become cancerous over time.
Therefore, it’s very important that you attend all your cervical screening appointments.
In our tools section there is more information and links to organisations that can provide help and support for this cancer. If you have any concern always consult your healthcare professional.