Which factors influence the pathogenesis of cervical cancer?

Updated: Feb 12, 2019
  • Author: Cecelia H Boardman, MD; Chief Editor: Warner K Huh, MD  more...
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Because only a small proportion of HPV infections progress to cancer, other factors must be involved in the process of carcinogenesis. The following factors have been postulated to influence the development of CIN 3 lesions:

  • The type and duration of viral infection, with high-risk HPV type and persistent infection predicting a higher risk for progression; low-risk HPV types do not cause cervical cancer

  • Host conditions that compromise immunity (eg, poor nutritional status, immunocompromise, and HIV infection)

  • Environmental factors (eg, smoking and vitamin deficiencies)

  • Lack of access to routine cytology screening

In addition, various gynecologic factors significantly increase the risk of HPV infection. These include early age of first intercourse and higher number of sexual partners.

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