Worldwide studies suggest that sexually transmitted human papillomaviruses (HPVs), type 16 or 18, are the primary cause of cervical cancer. Major risk factors associated with cancer of the cervix include early sexual activity, multiple sexual partners, or early first pregnancy; postnatal lacerations; grand multiparity; sexual partners with a history of penile or prostatic cancer or those uncircumcised; exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES) in utero; smoking, use of oral contraceptives for more than 10 years, and a history of cervicitis or sexually transmitted diseases.

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