Casual sex `fuelling cervical cancer rise`

Last Updated: Saturday, November 5, 2011 - 14:14

London: Casual sex at an earlier age is fuelling cervical cancer rates in young British women, says a new study.

Researchers at Manchester University have found that the cervical cancer rates have risen steeply in last two decades-- in fact, the incidence in women in their 20s has doubled between 1992 and 2006, rising 43 percent.

The cervical cancer rate per 100,000 women aged 20 to 29 rose from 5.5 to 7.9 between 1992 and 2006. In absolute terms, the number of cases in this age group rose from 215 to 283, even though rates in all other age groups have dropped.

Robert Alston, who led the study, said: "Our results show that although numbers getting cervical cancer are dropping in the immediate years after cervical screening began, the numbers of women in their 20s now developing the disease have been rising since the early 90s."

Hazel Nunn, head of health information and evidence at Cancer Research UK, which funded the study, said that rises in other sexually transmitted infections indicated women were having unprotected sex earlier and with more sexual partners.

"These figures show just how crucial it is for all 12 to 13 year-old girls to have the HPV vaccination. Human papilloma virus is a very common infection and the major cause of cervical cancer," she was quoted by `The Daily Telegraph` as saying.

Cervical cancer is caused by strains of the human papilloma virus (HPV), transmitted during sex. The virus is endemic but only turns cells cancerous under certain conditions.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, November 5, 2011 - 14:14

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