HPV stands for Human Papilloma virus, the most common virus that causes cancer of the cervix and genital areas. There are more than 100 types of HPV viruses. Some are harmful, but some are associated with warts and more so cancer. It is estimated at 7 out of 10 woman may have picked up the virus in their lifetime. 75% of all sexually active men and woman may get the virus at some point. HPV are often asymptomatic, it sometimes clear on its own, but persistent infection may lead to various cancers including cervical cancer. Anyone can become infected with HPV through close and intimate contact with a partner that has the virus. Similarly anyone can spread the virus to their partner as well.
HOW TO PREVENT HPV?
Vaccination can prevent infection of certain HPV types. Both the person vaccinated and their future partners can prevent the spread of HPV. Regular pap test are recommended for early detection of precancerous cells. HPV screening can also be done to determine the risk of developing cervical cancer.
WHY SHOULD I DO A HPV SCREEN?
Knowing whether you have HPV means that you have a high risk of developing cervical cancer. It means that you and your doctor can better decide on next steps for your health.
WHO CAN GET VACCINATED?
HPV vaccines are available to males and females from age 9 years onwards. Best protection is obtained if vaccination takes place before sexual debut. HPV vaccination protects against certain types of HPV, some that cause cervical cancer, cancer of the genitals and warts.
SPEAK TO YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER ABOUT HPV SCREENING AND OTHER QUESTIONS REGARDING HPV AND PAP SMEARS.