Overview An estimated 12,200 new cases of cervical cancer will be diagnosed in the United States in 2010, and 4200 people will die of the disease.1 Cervical cancer rates are decreasing among women in the United States, although incidence remains high among Hispanic/Latino, black, and Asian women.2–5 However, cervical cancer is a major world health problem for women. The global yearly incidence of cervical cancer for 2002 was 493,200; the annual death rate was 273,500. It is the third most common cancer in women worldwide,6,7 with 78% of cases occurring in developing countries, where cervical cancer is the second most frequent cause of cancer death in women. Persistent human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is regarded as the most important factor contributing to the development of cervical cancer. A relationship seems to exist between the incidence of cervical cancer and the prevalence of HPV in the population. The prevalence of chronic HPV in countries with a high incidence of cervical cancer is 10% to 20%, whereas its prevalence in low-incidence countries is 5% to 10%.6 Immunization against HPV prevents infection with certain types of HPV and, thus, is expected to prevent specific HPV cancer in women (see NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology [NCCN Guidelines] for Cervical Cancer Screening, in this issue; to view the most recent version of these guidelines, visit the NCCN Web site at www.NCCN.org).8–12 Other epidemiologic risk factors associated with cervical cancer are a history of smoking, parity, contraceptive use, early age at onset of coitus, larger number...
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