Almost half a million new cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed each year worldwide. Human papillomavirus is recognised as one of the leading causes and is associated with 90% of cases. However, other risk factors (e.g., age of first sexual contact, number of sexual partners, multiparity, diet, genetic predisposition and environment) are also associated with cervical cancer. The present retrospective study is performed on a cohort of women from the slums of a major Indian city. The patients are aged between 38 and 68 years (mean: 49.3 years) and are multiparous (mean number of children: 3.4). In this group, 61% have a history of miscarriages. Histological sections from cone biopsy are tested for the presence of high-grade human papillomavirus (HPV) using GP5+/GP6+ and MY09/MY11 primers and a set of b-globin primers. Only 33% of the cancer patients studied were positive for high-grade HPV DNA, suggesting that predisposition to cervical cancer in this cohort is not highly associated with HPV, and that other risk factors may increase the risk of cervical cancer.