HPV and cervical cancer
Cervical cancer has been linked to a virus that is transmitted through sexual intercourse. The human papilloma virus (HPV) is thought to target a number of genes within cells including a tumour suppressor gene called p53. Loss of p53 can lead to a cell becoming cancerous.
The earlier cervical cancer is treated, the better the chance of survival. In the first stage of cervical cancer, in which the disease is confined to the cervix itself, 80 percent of women live more than five years. Once cancer has spread to distant parts of the body, such as the lungs, only 5 percent of women live more than five years.