The incidence of invasive cervical cancer by age and marital status was examined, using census statistics and 1968--71 cancer registry data from women who lived in the Manchester Regional Hospital Board area. The relative rarity of the disease in the unmarried and its higher incidence in formerly married than in currently married women was confirmed. This higher incidence was shown to be mainly in widows under 50 and divorced women, suggesting that it is related to the association of the disease with number of sexual partners.
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