Cervical cancer starts in the cells of the cervix. The cervix is the narrow passageway connecting the uterus to the vagina.
The main risk factor for developing cervical cancer is the sexually transmitted human papilloma virus (HPV) that infects the cervix.
Other risk factors for developing cervical cancer include:
The Cervical Cancer Prevention Network (CCPN) is an informal association of federal and provincial representatives with the relevant clinical professional bodies. Represented are the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada, the College of Family Physicians of Canada, the Canadian Society of Cytology, the Gynecologic Oncologists of Canada, the Society of Canadian Colposcopists and the Canadian Nurses Association.
The purpose of the CCPN is to continue to reduce the morbidity and mortality from cervical cancer and its precursors in Canada by facilitating the implementation or enhancement of organized screening programs.
The CCPN has focused its attention on the development of the following three components of an organized screening program: effective recruitment strategies, information systems, and an integrated set of practice guidelines as the basis of a quality management program within the provincially-based screening programs.
Along with health, education and other partners, the Public Health Agency promotes the physical and psycho-social well being of Canadians through health promotion activities and cancer control strategies. Activities include:
The Public Health Agency supports efforts to prevent and control sexually transmitted infections and their complications, including cancer and infertility.
The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) provides recommendations on the use of vaccines and has published its statement on HPV vaccine.