A markedly increased risk of cervical cancer is known in women immunosuppressed due to AIDS or therapy following organ transplantation. The aim of this review is to determine the association between other conditions affecting the immune system and the risk of cervical cancer. Patients with end-stage renal disease seem to be at an increased risk of cervical cancer. A higher risk of cervical precancerous lesions was found in patients with some autoimmune diseases; particularly if treated with immunosuppressants. Among behavioral factors weakening the immune system, smoking appeared to strongly increase the risk of cervical cancer, while poor diet only moderately increased the risk. It is difficult to determine whether sexually transmitted infections other than human papillomavirus infection are independent risk factors. Identifying those groups of women likely to fail in clearing persistent human papillomavirus infections would help individualize screening guidelines and target immune-associated factors in the cervical cancer etiology.
Expert Review of Anticancer Therapy, 2013, Vol 13, Issue 1, p. 29-42