The Role of HPV & DNA Damage in Cervical Cancer

Virtually all cases of cervical cancer can be traced back to a prior HPV infection acquired years, or even decades earlier. HPV is also one of the most common sexually transmitted infections with an estimated 80% of women having been infected at least once in their lives by the age of 50.

So if HPV is so common, why is it that only a very small subset of women develop (pre-)cancerous lesions putting them at higher risk for cervical cancer?

Studies have shown that most women with HPV will naturally clear the infection without requiring any treatment. In some women, however, the HPV infection can persist and cause changes to the cervical cells leading to DNA Damage.