Exams Underway -- Island ladies await their examinations, where more than three in ten were found to be positive for cervical pre-cancer, and were treated on the spot by freezing the abnormal cells.

Causes of Cervical Cancer

World Health Organization (WHO) publications say cervical cancer is caused primarily by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and mainly transmitted through sexual contact. Risk factors are early first sexual activity, multiple sexual partners and tobacco use.

There are currently two vaccines that protect against the virus strains which are known to cause 70 percent of cervical cancers, but are not presently available in Kiribati. The World Health Organization recommends vaccinations for girls aged 9-13 years old.