Cancer of the cervix is one of the most preventable and treatable of cancers.
A regular Pap smear test every two or three years should catch it in the early, or even pre-cancerous, stages, where treatment is straightforward, side effects are few and the prognosis is very good.
It usually takes more than 10 years for the damaged cells to change from pre-cancerous to full-blown cancer.
Because more women are getting screened - in 2012, 70 per cent of women had a Pap smear - the incidence of cervical cancer has fallen drastically to be the 10th most common cancer in women. In 1970, it was second, after breast cancer.
In cancer deaths among women, it ranks eighth, underscoring the need for continued outreach to women to get themselves screened.