Timeline of cervical cancer

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This is a timeline of cervical cancer, describing especially major discoveries and advances in treatment of the disease.

Big picture[edit]

Year/period Key developments
19th century Cervical cancer is identified as a sexually transmitted disease. At the end of the century, surgery is introduced for treating the disease.
Early 20th century Epidemiologists discover that cervical cancer is common in female sex workers and also common in women whose husbands have a high number of sexual partners or were regular customers of prostitutes.[1]
1920s Papanikolaou develops his eponymous technique. The colposcope is developed.
1940s Pap smear screening begins.
1980s First concrete evidence that specific Human Papillomavirus (HPV) types are linked to cervical cancer.[1] Tobacco use is linked to cervical cancer.
2000s First Human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine is released. Several nations introduce the vaccination, such as United States, Canada, Australia and Japan.[1]
Recent years Today, cervical cancer is both the fourth-most common cause of cancer and the fourth-most common cause of death from cancer in women.[2] In 2012, approximately 528,000 cases of cervical cancer occurred, with 266,000 deaths.[2] This is about 8% of the total cases and total deaths from cancer.[3] About 70% of cervical cancers occur in developing countries.[2]

Full timeline[edit]

Year/period Type of event Event Location
400 BCE Development First description of cervical cancer by Hippocrates.[1]
1834 Discovery Cervical cancer is identified as a sexually transmitted disease.[4]
1842 Discovery Italian epidemiologist Domenico Rigoni-Stern notices that cervical carcinoma occurs only in married women.[4]
1898 Development Austrian gynecologist Ernst Wertheim describes the operation of radical hysterectomy including removal of the parametrium and pelvic lymph nodes. A few years later, the Wertheim-Meigs operation is introduced as a surgical procedure for the treatment of cervical cancer performed by way of an abdominal incision.[5]
1925 Development German gynecologist Hans Hinselmann first describes the foundation of the colposcope, a device used to examine the cervix, vagina and vulva for signs of disease.[6]
1928 Development Greek cytopathologist Georgios Papanikolaou develops a cervical cytology smear test (today called Pap smear) to detect cancer cells. This test will save thousands of lives and help reduce cervical cancer mortality by a wide margin.[7]
1943 Development The Pap test is first generalized as a procedure, enabling doctors to detect and begin treating cervical cancer before it has a chance to spread.[8] Over the following decades, the Pap test is credited with driving down cervical cancer death rates in developed countries.[9]
1946 Development Aylesbury spatula, a wooden spatula with an extended tip, is introduced to scrape the cervix, collecting the sample for the Pap smear.[10]
1951 Development First successful in-vitro cell line, HeLa, is derived from biopsy of cervical cancer of Henrietta Lacks.[11] United States
1953 Discovery Adenocarcinoma in situ (AIS) of the uterine cervix is first described.[12]
1983 Discovery Team led by German virologists Harald Zur Hausen and Lutz Gissmann identify HPV 16 in precursor lesions of genital cancer.[1]
1984 Discovery Cigarette smoking is found to increase risk of cervical cancer.[13]
1985 Discovery Harald Zur Hausen and Lutz Gissmann demonstrate the presence of HPV DNA in cervical cancer cells. These findings create the basis for subsequent studies leading to the development of preventive vaccines.[1]
1988 Development The Bethesda system (TBS) is introduced as a system for reporting cervical or vaginal cytologic diagnoses. It is considered to be an important achievement in the standardization of screening results.[1]
1989 Discovery Villoglandular adenocarcinoma of the cervix (a rare type of cervical cancer) is first described.[14]
1989 Development Loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP), which is performed in the surgical treatment of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia, is first described.[15]
1990 Policy The Breast and Cervical Cancer Mortality Prevention Act is launched, providing nationwide access to free or low-cost breast and cervical cancer screenings to underserved women.[9] United States
1996–1999 Development United States FDA approves two new liquid-based Pap tests. In these tests the swab is placed into a special preservative solution, instead of smearing a swab of cervical cells on a slide as in the conventional tests. Compared to the traditional method, these liquid tests provide a clearer, easier to read sample for pathologists to review under a microscope.[9] United States
1998 Development Researchers begin human testing of a possible vaccine to prevent cervical cancer.[16] United States
1999 Discovery Study shows that widespread screening reduces cases of advanced cervical cancer in older women.[17] California, US
1999 The United States National Cancer Institute issues an alert recommending chemotherapy radiation combination for invasive cervical cancer (cancer that has spread within the cervix or pelvis). This is based on trials showing that women live longer when treated with both radiation and chemotherapy, compared to those treated with the prior standard of radiation or surgery alone.[9] United States
1999 Development DNA test is approved to detect human papillomavirus (HPV), the virus that causes cervical cancer.[18]
2006 Treatment United States FDA approves Gardasil, a vaccine that prevents infection with the two high-risk strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) known to cause about 70 percent of cervical cancers. Gardasil is approved for girls and young women aged 9 to 26.[9] United States
2007 Discovery Study suggests that the act of performing a Pap smear produces an inflammatory cytokine response, which may initiate immunologic clearance of HPV, thus reducing the risk of cervical cancer.[19] South Africa
2008 Discovery Researchers discover that two minimally invasive techniques, laparoscopic and robotic radical hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) with radical pelvic lymphadenectomy (removal of surrounding pelvic lymph nodes) are as effective as traditional radical hysterectomy and lymphadenectomy in women with cervical cancer.[9]
2009 Discovery HPV vaccine Gardasil is found to be over 90 percent effective in preventing cervical cancer in women aged 24 to 45 who received all three vaccine doses, and who are not infected by the virus.[9]
2010 Policy Young women in Japan become eligible to receive cervical cancer vaccination for free. However, in 2013 the local Health Ministry withdraws the vaccine recommendation for girls due to several hundred adverse reactions to the vaccines reported.[20] Japan
2013 Discovery Adding targeted drug bevacizumab (Avastin) to standard chemotherapy is found to improve survival for patients with relapsed and advanced cervical cancers.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Cervical cancer: From Hippocrates through Rigoni-Stern to zur Hausen" (PDF). Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  2. ^ a b c World Cancer Report 2014. World Health Organization. 2014. pp. Chapter 5.12. ISBN 978-9283204299.
  3. ^ World Cancer Report 2014. World Health Organization. 2014. pp. Chapter 1.1. ISBN 978-9283204299.
  4. ^ a b Al-Daraji, Wael I; Smith, John HF (2009). "Infection and Cervical Neoplasia: Facts and Fiction". Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2 (1): 48–64. PMC 2491386. PMID 18830380.
  5. ^ Ware, Rachel A.; Van Nagell, John R. (2010). "Radical Hysterectomy with Pelvic Lymphadenectomy: Indications, Technique, and Complications". Obstetrics and Gynecology International. 2010: 1–9. doi:10.1155/2010/587610. PMC 2939408. PMID 20871657.
  6. ^ "What is a colposcope?". Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  7. ^ Bower, Mark; Waxman, Jonathan (2016-01-19). Lecture Notes: Oncology. ISBN 9781118842096.
  8. ^ "The Great Success And Enduring Dilemma Of Cervical Cancer Screening". NPR. April 30, 2015. Retrieved 21 April 2018.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h "Cervical Cancer". Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  10. ^ Shariff, Shameem; Kaler, Amrit Kaur (July 2016). Principles & Interpretation of Laboratory Practices in Surgical Pathology. ISBN 9789352500246.
  11. ^ "Study of Cervical Cancer That Killed 'Medical Miracles' Woman Henrietta Lacks Published for First Time". 2013-08-07. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  12. ^ Wright, V Cecil (2003). "Cervical squamous and glandular intraepithelial neoplasia: Identification and current management approaches". Salud Pública de México. 45: 417–429. doi:10.1590/S0036-36342003000900016.
  13. ^ "Smoking increases risk of cervical cancer". Gadsden Times.
  14. ^ Dilley, Sarah; Newbill, Colin; Pejovic, Tanja; Munroc, Elizabeth (2015). "Two cases of endocervical villoglandular adenocarcinoma: Support for conservative management". Gynecol Oncol Rep. 12: 34–6. doi:10.1016/j.gore.2015.02.004. PMC 4442649. PMID 26076156.
  15. ^ Jiang, Yan-Ming; Chen, Chang-Xian; Li, Li (2016). "Meta-analysis of cold-knife conization versus loop electrosurgical excision procedure for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia". OncoTargets Ther. 9: 3907–15. doi:10.2147/OTT.S108832. PMC 4934869. PMID 27418835.
  16. ^ "Cervical cancer vaccine". Ellensburg Daily Record.
  17. ^ Cornelison, Terri L.; Montz, Fredrick J.; Bristow, Robert E.; Chou, Betty; Bovicelli, Alessandro; Zeger, Scott L. (July 2002). "Decreased Incidence of Cervical Cancer in Medicare‐Eligible California Women". Obstetrics & Gynecology. 100 (1): 79. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  18. ^ Mayrand, Marie-Hélène; Duarte-Franco, Eliane; Rodrigues, Isabel; Walter, Stephen D.; Hanley, James; Ferenczy, Alex; Ratnam, Sam; Coutlée, François; Franco, Eduardo L.; Canadian Cervical Cancer Screening Trial Study Group (2007). "Human Papillomavirus DNA versus Papanicolaou Screening Tests for Cervical Cancer". New England Journal of Medicine. 357 (16): 1579–1588. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa071430. PMID 17942871.
  19. ^ Passmore, Jo-Ann S; Williamson, Anna-Lise; Hoffman, Margaret; Shapiro, Samual; Morroni, Chelsea (2007). "Papanicolaou smears and cervical inflammatory cytokine responses". Journal of Inflammation. 4: 8. doi:10.1186/1476-9255-4-8. PMC 1868022. PMID 17456234.
  20. ^ "Japan's Health Ministry Withdraws Cervical Cancer Vaccine Recommendation". Retrieved 19 September 2016.