Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and Cervical Cancer

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and Cervical Cancer

         Human papillomavirus (HPV) is connected to cervical cancer, a fact many women are unaware of. Therefore, it is necessary for women to gain more knowledge about HPV and ensuring that they get the required medical treatment for the virus.

         The human papillomavirus encompasses around 100 subtypes of virus and many of these viruses are transmitted through sexual contact. In the US, HPV is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases. At least 5.5 million new cases of HPV are reported every year in the US, and around 20 million people are already infected by the virus.

         Some subtypes of the virus cause warts, also known as papillomas, while others are responsible for causing certain types of cancers. Nonetheless, most HPV infections do not turn into cancer, but the high risk HPV can cause cancer.

         It has been seen that a small percentage of women who have HPV infection develop cervical cancer if the precancerous tissue is not removed from the cervix. According to experts, 95 percent cervical cancer is associated with HPV infection.

         There are also some risk factors associated with developing cancer due to HPV. These risk factors include smoking, having multiple sex partners, not using safe sex method, suppressed immune system and having HIV.

         Usually a woman will not show any signs of HPV infection. However, after a sexual relationship, if a woman notices warts on the genitals or the anus, she should immediately consult a doctor. In addition, women should also have pap tests every year as the test will be able to check for abnormal growth of cells.

         In case, precancerous cells are detected in the pap test, the doctor will perform a biopsy and a colposcopy. Once the diagnosis is made, the outer part of the cervix is removed through a procedure known as loop electrosurgical excision procedure, or LEEP.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and Cervical Cancer