Cervical cancer

Cervical cancer for upsc
  • Cervical Cancer is a cancer that occurs in cells of the cervix – lower part of uterus that connects to vagina.
  • It is caused by various strains of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection.
  • HPV transmission is influenced by sexual activity and age. Almost 75% of all sexually active adults are likely to be infected with at least one HPV type.
  • The body’s immune system usually gets rid of the HPV infection naturally within two years.
  • However, in a small percentage of people the virus can linger over time and turn some normal cells into abnormal cells and then cancer.
  • It is preventable as long as it is detected early and managed effectively.

Cervical cancer in India and the World

  • According to WHO, Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer type in the world.
  • It is the second leading cause of cancer death in women of reproductive age (15-44) worldwide.
  • According to the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC-WHO), India accounts for approximately one-fifth of the global burden.
  • India witnesses 1.23 lakh cases and approximately 67,000 deaths each year (one woman every eight minutes).
  • According to Globocan 2020, cervical cancer stood at 9.4% of all cancers and 18.3% of new cancer cases in 2020.
  • Current estimates indicate that every year approximately 25 lakhs women are diagnosed with cervical cancer, and over 75 thousand dies from the disease in India, and
  • Approximately, 83 % of invasive cervical cancers are attributed to HPVs 16 or 18 in India, and 70% of cases worldwide.


  • Cervical cancer screening and vaccination are two effective preventive measures.
  • There is still little awareness among women about this cancer prevention, and less than 10% of Indian women are screened.
  • All women aged 30-49, regardless of symptoms, should be screened for cervical cancer and their adolescent daughters vaccinated against HPV.

Latest News

  • Cervavac, India’s first indigenously developed quadrivalent human papillomavirus (qHPV) vaccine for the prevention of cervical cancer has been developed by Serum Institute of India (SII).


  1. The Hindu
  2. PIB
  3. Indian Express

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