The cervix is the neck of the womb (uterus) in women. Most cases of cancer of the cervix (cervix uteri cancer) are caused by a sexually transmitted virus (called the human papilloma virus, HPV). Other factors, like smoking, increase the risk of cancer developing. It most often affects women aged between 30 and 50 years. Regular screening (cervical/Pap smear) can often detect it at a very early stage. As with most cancers, if treatment is started at an early stage of the disease, it is more successful.
Cancer of the cervix caused 0.4% of all deaths worldwide in 2002, an average of 38 deaths per million people per year and 3% of all deaths from cancer.