Cervical cancer statistics

Virtually all cervical cancers are associated with human papilloma viruses (HPV). However, the majority of women with HPV do not develop cervical cancer.

Women become susceptible to developing cervical cancer following HPV infection, but other environmental factors are required for the cancer to develop.

The Second Expert Report Panel judged that food and nutrition and associated factors are not significant factors in the modification of risk of cancer of the cervix, although general nutritional status may affect a women's vulnerability to infection.

The countries with the top 20 highest incidence of cervical cancer in 2012 are given in the table below.

  • Malawi had the highest rate of cervical cancer, followed by Mozambique and Comoros.
  • About 84 per cent of cervical cancer cases occurred in less developed countries.
  • The highest incidence of cervical cancer was in Africa and, Latin America and Caribbean; and the lowest incidence in Northern America and Oceania.
Rank Country Age-Standardised Rate per 100,000 (World)
1 Malawi 75.9
2 Mozambique 65.0
3 Comoros 61.3
4 Zambia 58.0
5 Zimbabwe 56.4
6 Tanzania 54.0
7 Swaziland 53.1
8 Burundi 49.3
9 Bolivia 47.7
10 Guyana 46.9
11 Madagascar 44.6
12 Uganda 44.4
13 Mali 44.2
14 Rwanda 41.8
15 Senegal 41.4
16 Kenya 40.1
17 Guinea 38.4
17 Lesotho 38.4
19 Suriname 38.0
20 Fiji 37.8

Source: Ferlay J, Soerjomataram I, Ervik M, Dikshit R, Eser S, Mathers C, Rebelo M, Parkin DM, Forman D, Bray, F. GLOBOCAN 2012 v1.1, Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide: IARC CancerBase No. 11 [Internet]. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2014. Available from: http://globocan.iarc.fr, accessed on 16/01/2015.