Every year in the UK, around 3,000 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women aged 35 and under.
Cervical cancer is not thought to be hereditary. In 99.7% of cases, cervical cancers are caused by persistent infections with a virus called high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a very common virus transmitted through skin to skin contact in the genital area. Around four out of five sexually active adults (80%) will be infected with some type of HPV in their lives. However, for the majority of women this will not result in cervical cancer. While HPV infection is common, cervical cancer is rare.