Last modified: August 2, 2019
Richard Honaker M.D.View Full Profile
What do you really know about Human papillomavirus (HPV)? It is more common than you think. And HPV can be an STD with fatal consequences, especially for women.
Vital HPV facts women need to know are . . .
- It causes three percent of all cancer cases in women.
- There are more than 200 related viruses.
- 40 types are spread through sexual contact.
- 80 percent of women will be infected.
High-Risk HPV Types 16 and 18 Cause Majority of Cancer Cases
Are you at risk for developing cancer through one of the high-risk HPV types? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that 23,000 cancer cases among women are linked to the virus every year.
Types of Cancer Caused by Human papillomaviruses are . . .
- Cervical: 70 percent
- Anal: 95 percent
- Oropharyngeal: 70 percent
- Vaginal: 65 percent
- Vulvar: 50 percent
- Penile: 35 percent
The most common cancer caused by the deadly virus is cervical. And 79 percent of cancer cases associated with HPV are types 16 and 18. Types 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58 cause eight percent of cancer cases, according to the CDC.
How High-Risk HPV Types Cause Cancer
High-risk Human papillomaviruses infect epithelial cells. When these cells are infected, the virus makes encoded proteins, and high-risk HPV types create E6 and E7 proteins that mess with cell function.
Your immune system will often eliminate these infected cells, according to the National Cancer Institute. But there are times when the infected cells thrive and infected cells continue to grow.
Cell mutations may be the outcome, leading to precancerous cells to form, and later the development of a cancerous tumor in your body. Researchers do suggest that it can take up to 30 years for a tumor to form, but certain factors can increase your risk.
Factors leading to increased HPV infection and cancer are . . .
- Underlying medical condition that weakens your immune system.
- Smoking or chewing tobacco.
- Giving birth to multiple children.
- Using oral contraceptives long-term.
- Chronic inflammation issues.
- Poor oral hygiene.
Prevention Against Human Papillomaviruses Includes Safe Sex and Vaccination
Are you practicing safe sex? Using a condom can reduce your risk for HPV infection significantly, according to research published in the New England Journal of Medicine (2006).
However, condom use doesn’t protect you completely due to the exposed areas around the genitals. Those not sexually active have the highest prevention rate.
Have you been vaccinated for HPV? The Food and Drug Administration currently has three approved vaccinations for the virus. Gardasil, Gardasil 9, and Cervarix have proved prevention worthy.
Do You Have Questions or Concerns About Human Papillomaviruses and Cancer?
You may not experience any symptoms if you have been infected with HPV. This makes it vital to get tested for the virus in order to discuss cancer concerns with your doctor.
Women who test positive for the virus need to be screened for cancerous tumors more often if high-risk types of the virus are found.
If you have questions or concerns and nowhere to turn, you can talk to a doctor online to get the confidential answers you need. Not knowing or ignoring this potentially deadly virus is simply too risky.
Submitted by Dr. Richard Honaker: http://www.independentmedicalexaminer.com/IME-Directory/Virginia/Dr-Richard-A-Honaker-MD.asp
Disclaimer: This article provides general information and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or medical condition. If you require specific advice, please consult one of our medical professionals through the app. However, in case of an emergency, please call 911.