Cervical Cancer

Updated 02 November 2017

10 scary cervical cancer facts

Did you know that more women develop and die of cervical cancer than any other type of cancer in South Africa? Brush up on your facts right here.

  1. More women develop and die of cervical cancer than any other type of cancer in South Africa.
  2. Worldwide a woman dies of cervical cancer every two minutes.
  3. Each year in South Africa, approximately 6700 women develop cervical cancer while an estimated 3700 die from it.
  4. In South Africa a woman’s risk of developing cervical cancer in her lifetime is 1 in 31.
  5. The cause of cervical cancer is the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is a common sexually transmitted infection. It does not affect men, although they are carriers of the virus.
  6. Up to 80 percent of sexually active women will acquire an HPV infection in their lifetime, with the risk increasing with age.
  7. It is a cancer that is often diagnosed late and the survival rate is low.
  8. Research shows that less than 20 percent of South African women have ever gone for a Pap smear (the recommended method of screening for cervical cancer).
  9. The incidence of cervical cancer in South Africa is high when compared to women in western countries and appears at a younger age.
  10. Factors that increase a woman’s risk of developing cervical cancer include early sexual activity, multiple sexual partners and smoking.

(Health24, February 2008)


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