The study aims to evaluate the cause of cervical cancer in a cohort of patients and to establish whether or not human papillomavirus (HPV) is the leading risk factor and to determine whether or not c-myc oncogene over-expression is a predicative marker for the disease. Cone biopsy samples are examined from 53 patients diagnosed with either adenocarcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma of the cervix. Results showed that 19% of the patients studied were positive for high-grade HPV 18 DNA by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). For the c-myc gene expression, only three (23%) of the 13 control slides were positive. Of 49 known cervical cancer patients examined, 41% were positive, 51% were negative and 8% were doubtful. Of those who were positive for HPV, only two were positive for a mutation in the c-myc gene and one slide gave a doubtful result. P value for hysterectomy patients was 0.23 and for cancer patients was 0.48. In the cervical cancer patients studied, the HPV 18 prevalence rate was very low compared to that found in other studies. Therefore, the presence of HPV and expression of the c-myc oncogene cannot be used as surrogate markers for cervical cancer.