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We report results on risk factors for invasive squamous cell and adenocarcinomas of the cervix in women aged 20-44 years from the UK National Case-Control Study of Cervical Cancer, including 180 women with adenocarcinoma, 391 women with squamous cell carcinoma and 923 population controls. The risk of both squamous cell and adenocarcinoma was strongly related to the lifetime number of sexual partners, and, independently, to age at first intercourse. The risk of both types of cervical cancer increased with increasing duration of use of oral contraceptives, and this effect was most marked in current and recent users of oral contraceptives. The risk of squamous cell carcinoma was associated with high parity and the risk of both squamous cell and adenocarcinoma increased with early age at first birth. Long duration smoking (20 or more years) was associated with a two-fold increase in the risk of squamous cell carcinoma, but smoking was not associated with the risk of adenocarcinoma. Further studies are needed to confirm the suggestion from this and other studies of differences in risk related to smoking between squamous cell and adenocarcinomas of the cervix.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Cancer

Publication Date





2078 - 2086


Adenocarcinoma, Adult, Carcinoma, Squamous Cell, Case-Control Studies, Contraceptives, Oral, Female, Humans, Parity, Risk Factors, Smoking, United Kingdom, Uterine Cervical Neoplasms