Certain strains of HPV can cause various types of cancer later in life, including cervical cancer, anal cancer, vulvar and vaginal cancers in women, penile cancer in men and oropharyngeal cancers.
Is there a link between HPV and cancer?
Yes, there is a link between certain types of HPV (human papillomavirus) and cancer. HPV infection can sometimes cause changes in the cells of the body that might eventually become cancerous. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including cervical cancer, other types of cancer linked to HPV include cancers of the vulva, vagina, penis, anus, and oropharynx (back of the throat). However not all types of HPV lead to cancer.
Which types of cancer are caused by HPV?
Certain strains of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) can cause cervical, vaginal, vulvar, penile, anal and oropharyngeal cancer. In particular, HPV types 16 and 18 are known to cause most cases of cervical cancer.
What are the symptoms of HPVrelated cancers?
The symptoms of HPV-related cancers depend on the type and location of cancer. However, early stages of some of these cancers may not show any symptoms at all. As the disease progresses, common symptoms include unusual discharge or bleeding from the vagina or anus, pain during sex, and lumps or growths in genital areas that may be itchy or painful. For oral or throat cancer caused by HPV, symptoms may include persistent sore throat, earaches, difficulty swallowing or chewing, voice changes and unexplained weight loss. If you suspect you might have any of these symptoms related to HPV-related cancer you should consult a doctor immediately as these symptoms could also be indicative of other medical issues aside from cancer.
Can HPVrelated cancers be prevented or treated?
Yes, HPV-related cancers can be prevented through vaccination against HPV. Additionally, if detected early, these types of cancer can often be treated successfully using various methods such as surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
How is HPV detected and diagnosed?
HPV (human papillomavirus) can be detected and diagnosed through different methods. The most common one is the HPV DNA test, which checks for the presence of HPV in cells collected from the cervix during a Pap smear or an HPV swab test. Another method is a visual examination of the genital area to look for visible warts caused by some types of HPV. In some cases, a biopsy may be needed to confirm a diagnosis or check for precancerous changes in cervical cells. It’s important to get regular screenings and follow-up care recommended by your healthcare provider to detect and treat any potential health issues associated with HPV infection.
Who should get the vaccine for HPV?
The HPV vaccine is recommended for both boys and girls between the ages of 9 and 14. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recommends that young adults, men up to age 26, and women up to age 45 may consider vaccination if they were not previously vaccinated. For specific recommendations based on individual health status, it’s best to consult with a healthcare provider.
Are there any risk factors that increase the likelihood of getting an HPVrelated cancer?
Yes, there are several risk factors that can increase the likelihood of getting an HPV-related cancer. These include having a weakened immune system, having multiple sexual partners or engaging in unprotected sex, smoking, and having other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Certain types of HPV are also more likely to cause cancer than others. It is important to get regular screenings and vaccinations to protect against HPV-related cancers.