Cervical cancer: A comprehensive approach towards extermination

Ann Med. 2016;48(3):149-61. doi: 10.3109/07853890.2016.1145796. Epub 2016 Feb 25.


Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is one of the most common sexually transmitted pathogen, globally. Oncogenic types of HPV are the causative agents of many neoplastic diseases, including cervical cancer, which ranks as the most common cancer affecting females in developing countries. HPV infection of the cervical epithelium and the subsequent integration of viral DNA into the host genome are the major risk factors for cervical cancer. The scientific discovery of HPV as the causal agent of cervical cancer has led to the development of HPV-based diagnostic tools. Prophylactic vaccines, based on the oncogenic HPV type virus-like particles have been introduced in several developed countries as a preliminary preventive approach. Nevertheless, it remains a continuous threat to women in developing countries, where the prophylactic vaccines are unaffordable and organized screening programmes are lacking. This warrants implementation of prevention strategies that will reduce cervical cancer-related mortality. In this review, we have discussed molecular pathogenesis of HPV infection and the risk factors associated with it. The diagnosis, treatment and prevention strategies of HPV-related cervical cancer have also been discussed.

Keywords: Cervical cancer; HPV; diagnosis; prophylactic vaccines; treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • DNA, Viral / isolation & purification
  • DNA, Viral / metabolism
  • Developing Countries
  • Disease Eradication / methods
  • Early Detection of Cancer / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Oncogene Proteins, Viral / metabolism*
  • Papillomaviridae / genetics
  • Papillomaviridae / immunology
  • Papillomaviridae / metabolism*
  • Papillomavirus Infections* / complications
  • Papillomavirus Infections* / diagnosis
  • Papillomavirus Infections* / prevention & control
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines / therapeutic use
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / diagnosis
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / prevention & control
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / therapy*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / virology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / virology


  • DNA, Viral
  • Oncogene Proteins, Viral
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines