What influences whether cervical cancer develops after HPV infection or formation of abnormal cells?
We don’t know for sure. Infection with HPV (human papilloma virus) is the cause of almost all cancer of the cervix, the gateway between a woman’s vagina and uterus. But HPV infection is common, and usually does not lead to cancer. In part, it depends on the type of HPV – out of more than 100 types, just 4 account for 80 percent of all cervical cancer. Most infections clear up on their own, but repeated infections, smoking or weakened immune function all seem to increase the chances that the infection will lead to abnormal cells. Differences in certain genes associated with immune function seem to make some women more susceptible to developing pre-cancerous lesions following infection. If abnormal cells are found early, they can be removed or killed before they turn into cancer cells. Healthy eating habits affect both immune function and DNA stability and repair. But so far the evidence of protection from healthy eating is stronger for other cancers than for cervical cancer. Q: Are tama