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Sunday, November 26, 2006

Women smokers are 27 times more likely to develop cervical cancer

The Columbus Dispatch - Women who smoke and also carry high levels of the virus associated with cervical cancer are up to 27 times more likely to develop the most common form of Cervical cancer , compared with uninfected women who smoke, results of a new study show.

Swedish researchers studied data from Pap tests of more than 100,000 women and identified 499 with cervical cancer that had not extended beyond the outer layer of tissue. They matched them with 499 other women who were similar in age and other characteristics, but cancer-free.

For the two sets they compared smoking behavior with concentrations of human papilloma virus-16, the strain most associated with cervical cancer, and found that the combination caused risk to soar.

"Our study would imply a synergistic action between HPV and smoking that would greatly increase the likelihood of women developing cervical cancer if they are HPV-positive smokers," said Anthony Gunnell, a medical biostatistician at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and lead author of the report published Friday in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.

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