Is Cervical Cancer Inherited?
- The American Cancer Society (ACS) reports that having a close relative who had cervical cancer greatly increases a woman's risk. This may be due to genetic or environmental factors.
- Some groups are more severely impacted by cervical cancer than others. Baptist Health Systems reports that African Americans, Latina women and Native Americans have higher death rates from the condition than others.
Pregnancy and Hormones
- Women whose mothers took the hormone DES during pregnancy between 1940 and 1971 are at a slightly increased risk for developing cervical cancer. According to the ACS, this hormone was used to avoid miscarriage.
- While not genetic, a woman's socioeconomic background is a part of her family history that contributes to her risk for cervical cancer. The ACS reports that poor women have lower access to gynecological care, including pap smears, which can help detect the early signs of cancer.
- Other risk factors for developing cervical cancer, according to the Mayo Clinic, include a high number of sex partners, beginning to have sex at a young age, having other sexually transmitted infections, having a weakened immune system and smoking.