According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is behind most cervical cancer cases. This type of cancer affects the cervix. The cervix is a neck of tissue that connects the vagina and uterus. Moreover, women are advised to have regular cervical smear tests or Pap tests. World Health Organization (WHO) says HPV infections cause approximately 68, 000 cases of cervical cancer every year in Africa.

 Symptoms

The symptoms include:

-Bleeding after sexual intercourse

-Pelvic pain

-Bleeding between periods

-Vaginal discharge with a bad odor

-Vaginal discharge stained with blood

-Bleeding in post-menopausal women

-Pain during sexual intercourse

SEE ALSO: Ugali linked to cervical cancer

Known causes of cervical cancer

Smoking

Both active and passive smokers are at risk. HPV and cancer-causing chemicals linked to smoking work together to build up the possibility of getting cancer. Nevertheless, carcinogens from smoking lengthen the effect of HPV infection in cervical cells which causes this cancer.

Birth control pills

Some common contraceptive pills slightly raise a woman’s risk of getting cancer when used over a long period of time. The risk of getting it goes down over time when one stops taking the pills.

HPV Human papillomavirus

Human Papillomavirus can be transmitted via sexual intercourse. This is why it best to practice safe sex. However, some types of genital HPV are linked to abnormal cell changes on the cervix (detected through Pap tests) that can lead to cervical cancer. The transmission of cancer-causing HPV types mostly occurs after sexual contact with a person who has HPV. Practice unsafe sex with multiple partners can increase your chances of contracting HPV.