Cervical cancer has been the seventh commonest cancer among females in Hong Kong and accounted for 3.3% of all new cancer cases in females in 2015.
In 2015, 500 new cases of cervical cancer were diagnosed and the crude incidence rate was 12.7 per 100000 female population. The age-standardised incidence rate was 8.4 per 100000 standard population.
Number of new cases and crude incidence rate of cervical cancer, 1983-2000 （View）
Number of new cases and crude incidence rate of cervical cancer, 2001-2015 （View）
Cervical cancer is the ninth leading cause of female cancer deaths in Hong Kong. In 2016, a total of 151 women died from this cancer, accounting for 2.6% of female cancer deaths. The crude death rate of cervical cancer was 3.8 per 100000 female population. The age-standardised death rate of cervical cancer was 2.2 per 100000 standard population.
Number of registered deaths and crude death rate of cervical cancer, 1981-2000 （View）
Number of registered deaths and crude death rate of cervical cancer, 2001-2016 （View）
Trends of incidence and mortality
The age-standardised incidence rate of cervical cancer had a downward trend between 1983 and 2015. Also, the age-standardised death rate had a downward trend between 1981 and 2016.
Age-standardised incidence and death rates* of cervical cancer, 1981-2016
Age-standardised rates are compiled based on the world standard population specified in GPE Discussion Paper Series: No.31, EIP/GPE/EBD, World Health Organization, 2001.
Data in the above charts from 1996 onwards are compiled based on the population estimates under the "resident population" approach instead of the "extended de facto" approach. Also, the 2016 Population By-census conducted from June to August 2016 provides a benchmark for revising the population figures compiled since the 2011 Population Census. Population-related figures from 2012 to 2015 have been revised accordingly.
Classification of diseases and causes of death is based on the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD) 10th Revision from 2001 onwards. Figures from 2001 onwards may not be comparable with figures for previous years which were compiled based on the ICD 9th Revision.
Census and Statistics Department
Cervical cancer corresponds to codes 180 in ICD-9 and C53 in ICD-10.
What is cervical cancer?
Cervical cancer is a cancer that starts in the cervix. Almost all cervical cancers are caused by persistent infection with one of the cancer-causing or high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) types. HPV infection is usually found in persons who have ever been sexually active. Most people with HPV infection do not have any symptoms and will clear the infection on their own. Some females with persistent high-risk HPV infection in the cervix will develop pre-cancerous cell changes. While the majority of these changes will regress to normal, some may progress to cancer over years.
What are the symptoms of cervical cancer?
Abnormal cell changes in the cervix or early stage of cervical cancer may have no symptoms at all. The most common symptom is abnormal vaginal bleeding, which includes vaginal bleeding between periods, during or after sexual intercourse, or after menopause. Other symptoms include vaginal discharge with foul smell, pelvic pain or blood in urine.
Please note that the presence of any of these symptoms does not mean that you have cervical cancer. You should consult a doctor if you develop any symptoms.
What are the risk factors of cervical cancer?
Risk factors of cervical cancer include:
Despite the above risk factors, regular cervical cancer screening and timely treatment of the detected pre-cancerous changes can prevent cervical cancer. However, the most commonly neglected risk factor is failure to get a regular cervical cancer screen.
How can I prevent cervical cancer?
Cervical cancer can be prevented by reducing the HPV infection and the progression from persistent HPV infection to cervical cancer. Here are some preventive measures:
Apart from the measures highlighted above, cervical cancer screening offers you additional protection.
What is cervical cancer screening?
Cervical smear (also named Pap smear) is a simple and quick cervical cancer screening test which can detect early abnormal changes in cervical cells. With early detection and early treatment, these abnormal cell changes could be prevented from developing into cervical cancer.
Who needs cervical cancer screening?
Cervical cancer screening is for healthy women who have no symptom.
If in doubt, please consult the doctor.
Where can I have cervical cancer screening?
You may visit your family doctor, gynaecologists, non-governmental organisations, Maternal and Child Health Centres (MCHC) and Women Health Centres of the Department of Health for cervical cancer screening.
If you wish to take cervical smear at the MCHC, please call the 24-hour hotline of Cervical Screening Phone Booking Service: 3166 6631. The booking guideline can be downloaded from:
Cervical Screening Programme
The Cervical Screening Programme (CSP) is a territory-wide screening programme launched by the Department of Health in collaboration with other healthcare professionals to encourage women to have regular cervical cancer screening.
CSP has established the “Cervical Screening Information System” (CSIS) for storing data related to CSP, including participants’ personal identification data, smear results and date of next smear recommended by healthcare providers. Once you have registered with the CSP, you can login to the CSIS to view your cervical smear records and will receive a reminder when the next smear is due. You can authorize your healthcare provider to view your past smear records in order to provide better continuous care.
As individual healthcare providers who provide cervical cancer screening service may have different appointment procedures and service charges, please contact them directly to enquire about service arrangements.
Recipients of Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) are waived from payment for their public health care (such as cervical cancer screening service provided by MCHC of the Department of Health) upon presenting the valid Certificate of Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Recipients (for Medical Waivers). Non-CSSA recipients who have financial difficulties in paying medical expenses may consider applying for medical fee waiving in public hospitals and clinics. For details, please contact the Integrated Family Service Centres or Family and Child Protective Services Units of the Social Welfare Department or Medical Social Services Units of public hospitals and clinics.
For more information about cervical cancer prevention and screening, please visit the booklet and website of the Cervical Screening Programme of Department of Health at www.cervicalscreening.gov.hk.
You can also call our 24-hour Health Education Hotline of the Department of Health 2833 0111 for more health information. Please click here to view the full list of health topics.