Every year in the UK, over 3,000 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer and nearly 1,000 women will die from the disease. Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women aged 35 and under.
Cervical cancer is not thought to be hereditary. Cervical cancer, in 99.7% of cases, is caused by persistent infection with a virus called human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a very common virus transmitted through skin to skin contact in the genital area. Around 4 out of 5 people (80%) will be infected with HPV at some point in their lives. However, for the majority of women this will not result in cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is rare while HPV infection is common.