HEALTH Cervical cancer affects the young

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The Independent Online
Cervical cancer is occurring more often in younger women, although the overall number of cases is in decline, research shows.

The disease, the second most common cancer in women, is now peaking in women aged 30-39, compared with a peak in women aged 45-59 in the early 1970s, according to a study in The Journal of Medical Screening.

The study also shows the disease is changing. Cases of one type of cervical cancer - adenocarcinoma - are four times higher than in 1971, but cases of squamous cell carcinoma are gradually decreasing. Adenocarcinoma is difficult to spot in the pre-invasive stage and may be underdiagnosed as a result, the researchers from the University of Cambridge say. Jeremy Laurance