HPV and cervical cancer: What you need to know

Clara T. Fryman

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most prevalent sexually transmitted an infection in the U.S., and there are much more than 200 strains of it. Forty of all those are regarded as higher-hazard HPV, which can lead to cervical cancer in women. Lower-hazard HPV typically will cause symptoms that are not […]

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most prevalent sexually transmitted an infection in the U.S., and there are much more than 200 strains of it.

Forty of all those are regarded as higher-hazard HPV, which can lead to cervical cancer in women. Lower-hazard HPV typically will cause symptoms that are not life threatening, these kinds of as genital warts.

It’s significant to know that higher-hazard HPV by alone is not cancer. Eight out of 10 women will have higher-hazard HPV at some stage in their lives, but handful of of them will get cervical cancer.

Luckily, there is a vaccine that safeguards individuals versus some higher-hazard strains of HPV.

How do you get HPV?

You can get HPV by obtaining vaginal, anal, or oral sexual intercourse with another person who has the virus. Anybody who is sexually active can get HPV, even if you have experienced sexual intercourse with only just one individual. HPV can be passed on even if the infected individual has no symptoms.

Who can get HPV?

Both adult men and women can get HPV. It’s significant to know that women can be tested for HPV, but adult men can’t. Nonetheless, adult men can get the HPV vaccine, which will help stop them from getting genital warts and some varieties of cancer, like penile, anal, and throat cancer. The vaccine also will help defend their partners.

The Centers for Ailment Handle and Avoidance does not endorse plan tests for adult men for these cancers because they are substantially fewer prevalent. Nonetheless, if you assume you might have HPV or cancer, call your well being treatment supplier.

What are the symptoms of HPV and cervical cancer?

Genital warts can be a signal of HPV in adult men and women. Nonetheless, quite a few strains of HPV, specifically all those that bring about cancer, have no visible symptoms. These strains can be detected only by a Pap smear, which checks a woman’s cervix, the decrease part of her uterus, for any cell modifications.

Signs or symptoms of cervical cancer in women can look decades soon after an HPV an infection. They contain:

  • Bleeding and recognizing involving menstrual durations
  • Bleeding soon after vaginal sexual intercourse
  • Bleeding soon after menopause
  • Heavier than common menstrual durations
  • Bleeding soon after a pelvic examination
  • Unusual discharge from the vagina
  • Agony all through sexual intercourse

How are HPV and cervical cancer treated?

Both adult men and women can get HPV, but adult men can’t be tested for it.

There is no cure or therapy for HPV, but there are treatment plans for the issues it can bring about, these kinds of as genital warts, cancer-leading to cells, and cervical cancer.

Therapy for cervical cancer is based mostly on how superior the cancer is, but it can contain chemotherapy, radiation, and surgical procedure.

Finding typical Pap smears and HPV tests will help your health practitioner know no matter if you have HPV and, if you do, monitor it. Early detection generally prevents cervical cancer. Make sure to talk to your well being treatment supplier about the greatest screening program for you.

Who should get the HPV vaccine?

The HPV vaccine is an significant tool for preventing HPV and its issues, and it is specifically successful when acquired at a younger age.

The Food and Drug Administration suggests that most children get vaccinated for HPV at age eleven or 12. The dosage program depends on how outdated the baby is when he or she is first vaccinated, but children typically get two doses.

Vaccination is not typically encouraged for individuals older than 26. Nonetheless, some older people ages 27 by means of forty five who are not previously vaccinated might determine to get the HPV vaccine soon after talking with their well being treatment supplier. 

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