One of the high risk factors for cervical cancer is the presence of antibodies to the human papillomavirus (the same group of viruses that cause genital warts). Although benign, the virus is believed to trigger alterations in the cells of the cervix, leading to the development of cancer. The strains of HPV linked to cervical cancer (strains 16, 18 and 31), are not the ones that cause genital warts.
Women are advised to have a pap smear annually to check for precancerous cells, or other abnormalities. If cervical cancer is detected early, it can be treated without impairing fertility.
Notable people who have suffered from or died of cervical cancer: