How long does it take for cervical cancer to develop?

cervical cancer develop
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How long does it take for cervical cancer to develop?

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It is difficult to know how long it takes to develop cervical cancer. Women with normal Pap smears can already be infected by HPV. If they are already infected and the immune system is not checking the virus, women are then at risk of developing precancerous lesions such as high grade lesion of the cervix then cancer. We know that most but not all women with high grade lesions will develop cervical cancer if they are not treated. But there is a long interval between being infected, the development of high grade lesion and eventually cancer giving many opportunities before full development of cancer. In USA the estimated peaks of age for different stages of the disease are: • 21 years for HPV infection • 28 years for low grade lesion (LSIL) of the cervix • 42 years for high grade lesion (HSIL) of the cervix and • 48 years for infiltrative cancer.

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It is difficult to know how long it takes to develop cervical cancer. Women with normal Pap smears can already be infected by HPV. If they are already infected and the immune system is not checking the virus, women are then at risk of developing precancerous lesions such as high grade lesion of the cervix then cancer. We know that most but not all women with high grade lesions will develop cervical cancer if they are not treated. But there is a long interval between being infected, the development of high grade lesion and eventually cancer giving many opportunities before full development of cancer.

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