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Chlamydia increases risk of cervical cancer

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: (Published 13 January 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:71
  1. Deborah Josefson
  1. New York

    Infection with certain subtypes of chlamydia, a bacterium which is commonly transmitted sexually, greatly increases the risk of cervical cancer, according to a new report (JAMA 2001;285:47-51).

    Although infections with oncogenic strains of human papillomavirus remain the prime cause of cervical cancer, infection with some strains of Chlamydia trachomatis seem to contribute to that risk.

    The finding is important because chlamydia, though frequently asymptomatic, is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases and can be treated with appropriate antibiotics. In the United States, between four million and eight million new cases of chlamydia are reported yearly.

    The bacterium—which, when symptomatic, causes purulent discharge, dysuria, and urethritis—can also cause ascending infections leading …

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