How Common Is Hpv
It is estimated that around 8 out of 10 people will be infected with HPV at some point in their lives. But, remember that it usually doesnt cause any symptoms, and most people will never know they had it. Having HPV doesnt mean that someone will definitely get cancer.
There are hundreds of different types of HPV. Some types affect the genitals, mouth and throat. Around 13 high risk types can cause cancer. People infected with high risk HPV types for a long time are more likely to go on to develop cancer. Other types of HPV can cause genital warts.
There are also types of HPV that affect the skin on other parts of the body, mostly on the hands and feet. These types can cause minor problems, such as skin warts and verrucas. This page focuses on genital and oral HPV, as these types can cause cancer.
Normal Smear Tests Are No Guarantee
This is odd when we know that HPV is associated with cervical cancer, says Sonia Andersson, professor of gynaecology at the Department of Womens and Childrens Health, Karolinska Institutet. So we wanted to examine the cervical cancer risk for patients with normal smear results.
The study included over 9,000 normal smear tests from women between the ages of 20 and 60 who took their tests under the Swedish screening programme from 2005 to 2007. During the follow-up period ending 2014, almost 100 of these women developed high-grade pre-cancerous lesions or in a few cases actual cervical cancer. These patients cell samples were then tested for HPV and compared individually with samples from healthy women. The researchers found that women over the age of 30 who were carriers of high-risk HPV had, regardless of HPV type, an eight times higher risk of developing high-grade pre-cancerous lesions or cancer than women with negative HPV findings.
Normal cell tests are therefore no guarantee that a woman wont develop precancerous changes that can lead to cervical cancer, says Professor Andersson. So we need to follow up women with positive HPV findings more frequently.
Hpv: 5 Things All Women Should Know
In addition to treating patients, Trimble researches vaccines to treat human papillomavirus . The virus is the most common sexually transmitted infection, with more than 6 million Americans infected each year. Youve probably seen television ads for the HPV vaccine. If you have kids, your pediatrician has probably recommended the vaccine to guard against some cancers that are linked to HPV. It can sound pretty scary: a common infection that causes cancer.
So should women worry about HPV? According to Trimble, the answer is no.
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Your Feelings About Hpv
Finding out you are affected by high-risk HPV can be stressful and difficult to cope with.
You may feel frustrated that there is no treatment to get rid of the infection. Or angry if it has caused cancer. Some people feel ashamed or embarrassed because HPV infection is related to sex.
It is natural to have mixed emotions, including feeling uncertain or lonely. You may have questions or worry what others will think. There are not always clear answers, but ask your GP, cancer doctor or nurse for more information if there is something you do not understand.
Everyone has their own way of coping with difficult situations. You may want to talk about it with:
- someone you know well
- someone outside your family and friends
- people online who are in a similar situation our Online Community offers this kind of support
How Often Does High Risk Hpv Turn Into Cancer
Cervical cancer is the cancer type thats most commonly associated with HPV, but research has suggested as many as 3% and 2% of all cancers in women and men, respectively, are caused by HPV. 2 Most people infected with HPV will never have any symptoms and will not develop cancer because of their infection, but some do.
What do I do if I have high risk HPV?
What you should know about HPV and cancer?
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Should Test For Hpv Type
Women below the age of 30 who tested positive for HPV types 16 and 18 had a much higher risk of developing high-grade pre-cancerous lesions or cervical cancer compared to women with negative HPV findings. The HPV tests used in screening programmes today do not show which type of HPV a woman is carrying, only that she has a high-risk type of the virus.
This should be changed. If we test for HPV type, we can screen low-risk individuals less often and instead follow up younger carriers of HPV 16 or 18 and older HPV-positive women more often. In the USA, theyre called in for a new HPV test within the year.
It should be remembered that most HPV infections clear on their own, including HPV 16/18, explains Professor Andersson. But HPV is the most common risk factor for developing cervical cancer and should be followed up methodically. In this way, more pre-cancerous lesions can be treated on time and more cases of cancer prevented.
The study was conducted in association with the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, and the Scientific Institute of Public Health in Brussels, Belgium and financed with grants from the Swedish Cancer Society, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm County Council and the King Gustaf V Jubilee Foundation.
Clinical Manifestations Of Sexually Transmitted Infections
The second result is latent or inactive infection, in which few people know they are infected since noticeable symptoms are seldom produced and the infected area remains cytologically normal. HPV DNA is present in approximately 10% of women with cytologically normal cervical epithelium. The HPV DNA detected was primarily of low-risk HPV-6, -11, and others .
The third result is active infection, which is associated with high-risk HPV types in which the virus causes changes in infected cells which may result in penile, urethral, bladder, vaginal, vulvar, or cervical intraepithelial neoplasia. High-risk HPV types 1) include types associated with high-grade lesions and cervical cancers and types identified as intermediate risk that are less commonly represented in cancers but are frequently seen in SIL . These infections can lead to cervical cancer. Prospective studies have shown that 15 to 28% of women in whom HPV DNA was detected developed SIL within 2 years, compared to only 1 to 3% of women in whom HPV DNA was not detected. In particular, the risk of progression for HPV-16 and -18 was greater than for other HPV types.
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Is There Treatment For Hpv Or Health Problems That Develop From Hpv
There is no treatment for the virus itself. However, there are treatments for the health problems that HPV can cause:
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What Is High Risk Hpv
Some types of HPV can cause cancer. This means that they are high risk.
When a high risk type of HPV infects cells, it changes how they communicate with one another. It also causes the cells to multiply. Usually, the immune system becomes aware of these cells and regulates them.
However, if these abnormal cells remain, they can continue to change and become precancerous.
HPV infects the thin, flat squamous cells that line the inner surface of some organs. For this reason, most HPV-related cancers are called squamous cell carcinomas. The virus can also cause cancer in the glandular cells of the cervix, and this cancer is called adenocarcinoma.
Some low risk types can also cause the growth of warts in the mouth and throat. This condition is called recurrent respiratory papillomatosis, and it is more common in children than adults. Papilloma is another name for wart.These growths are often benign, but they can cause severe airway obstruction and complications. In extremely rare cases, these warts become cancerous.
Who Is More Likely To Get Cervical Cancer
Anyone with a cervix can get cervical cancer. This includes women, trans men, non-binary people, and intersex people with a cervix.
You cannot get cervical cancer if you’ve had surgery to remove your womb and cervix .
You might also be more likely to get cervical cancer if:
- you’re under 45 cervical cancer is more common in younger people
- you have a weakened immune system, like if you have HIV or AIDS
- you have given birth to multiple children or had children at an early age
- your mother took the hormonal medicine diethylstilbestrol while pregnant with you your GP can discuss these risks with you
- you’ve had vaginal, vulval, kidney or bladder cancer in the past
Des And Cervical Screening
It is not usually recommended that you have more regular cervical screening. Instead, you will get invitations every 1, 3 or 5 years from age 25, depending on your results and where you live.
This test would be done in a colposcopy department at a hospital, outside of the National Cervical Screening Programme. Check with your GP or healthcare team about how to make appointments.
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If You Feel Something Say Something: Preventing And Detecting Gynecologic Cancers
Rebecca Stone, M.D., a Johns Hopkins gynecologic oncologist and surgeon, explains gynecologic cancer risks, the best forms of prevention for you and your loved ones, and possible signs and symptoms.
Trimble discusses five things she wants women to know about HPV, cancer risk and the importance of vaccines.
How Can I Avoid Hpv And The Health Problems It Can Cause
You can do several things to lower your chances of getting HPV.
Get vaccinated. The HPV vaccine is safe and effective. It can protect against diseases caused by HPV when given in the recommended age groups.
Get screened for cervical cancer. Routine screening for women aged 21 to 65 years old can prevent cervical cancer.
If you are sexually active:
- Use condoms the right way every time you have sex. This can lower your chances of getting HPV. But HPV can infect areas the condom does not cover. So, condoms may not fully protect against getting HPV and
- Be in a mutually monogamous relationship or have sex only with someone who only has sex with you.
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How Common Is Hpv And Health Problems That Develop From Hpv
HPV : CDC estimates that there were 43 million HPV infections in 2018. In that same year, there were 13 million new infections. HPV is so common that almost every sexually active person will get HPV at some point if they dont get vaccinated.
Health problems related to HPV include genital warts and cervical cancer.
Genital warts: Prior to HPV vaccines, genital warts caused by HPV affected roughly 340,000 to 360,000 people yearly.* About one in 100 sexually active adults in the U.S. has genital warts at any given time.
Cervical cancer: Every year, nearly 12,000 women living in the U.S. will have cervical cancer. More than 4,000 women die from cervical cancereven with screening and treatment.
There are other conditions and cancers caused by HPV that occur in people living in the United States. Every year, about 19,400 women and 12,100 men experience cancers caused by HPV.
*These figures only look at the number of people who sought care for genital warts. This could be less than the actual number of people who get genital warts.
Questions To Ask The Health Care Team
What is my risk of getting HPV?
How can I reduce my risk of HPV?
Can I get genital HPV without having sex?
What are some of the signs and symptoms of HPV?
Should I be tested for HPV?
If the test shows that I have HPV, what happens next?
Should I get an HPV vaccine? Why or why not?
Are HPV vaccines safe? What side effects can occur?
How is an HPV vaccine given? Is more than 1 shot needed?
How long does an HPV vaccine last?
Does my health insurance cover the cost of an HPV vaccine?
I am pregnant and have HPV. Can it harm my baby?
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Who Should Get The Hpv Vaccine
CDC recommends HPV vaccination for:
- All preteens at age 11 or 12 years .
- Everyone through age 26 years, if not vaccinated already.
Vaccination is not recommended for everyone older than age 26 years. However, some adults age 27 through 45 years who are not already vaccinated may decide to get the HPV vaccine after speaking with their healthcare provider about their risk for new HPV infections and the possible benefits of vaccination. HPV vaccination in this age range provides less benefit. Most sexually active adults have already been exposed to HPV, although not necessarily all of the HPV types targeted by vaccination.
At any age, having a new sex partner is a risk factor for getting a new HPV infection. People who are already in a long-term, mutually monogamous relationship are not likely to get a new HPV infection.
What If I Test Positive For Hpv 16 Or 18 Of The Cervix
Testing positive for HPV 16 or 18 doesnt mean youll develop cervical cancer, but it does mean that any dysplasia found in a Pap test carries a higher risk of becoming a cancer.
Based on the results of your Pap test and HPV test, your doctor can develop a plan to either treat the dysplasia, do more testing to rule out cancer, or recommend more frequent follow-up visits to look for additional changes.
Paps of the cervix have been tested for a long time, and we know the changes HPV causes in the cervix, notes Dr. Zanotti meaning that doctors can often tell which changes to the cervix pose the most immediate danger.
If you get diagnosed with HPV, and everything else tests okay, then most likely the HPV will clear on its own within one to two years, if you don’t have a suppressed immune system.
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What A Positive Result Means
In 2018, the United States recorded almost 43 million HPV infectionsmany among people in their late teens and early 20s. Knowing your HPV status is critical to ensuring that you and your health provider keep proper tabs on your relative risk for cancer.
HPV infection is responsible for most, if not all, cervical cancer cases. HPV can also cause genital warts and other forms of cancer in both females and males .
Verywell / Ellen Lindner
More than 90% of women who receive a positive diagnosis for HPV will clear the infection spontaneously and fully within the span of two years.
Of the remaining 10% who are HPV positive, most will eventually clear their infections. Only a small percentage of the rest will go on to develop an abnormal Pap smear result.
Some of the factors associated with HPV persistence include:
- The strain of HPV involved
- Use of oral contraceptives
- Being an active smoker
- Having a weakened immune system
If you test positive for HPV, it does indicate a need for regular follow-ups. This is particularly true if you also have an abnormal Pap smear.
A Pap smear screens for early signs of cervical cancer, known as cervical dysplasia. Keeping up to date with your screenings ensure that any abnormal changes can be spotted and treated early, usually with a simple outpatient procedure.
In the end, a positive HPV test is no reason to panic. Your risk of getting cervical cancer could be higher than someone without an HPV infection, but the risk is still quite low.
Hpv Very Rarely Becomes Cervical Cancer
While HPV does cause cervical cancer, the risk of developing cervical cancer from the virus is still quite low.
For 90 percent of women with HPV, the condition will clear up on its own within two years. Only a small number of women who have one of the HPV strains that cause cervical cancer will ever actually develop the disease.
Cervical dysplasia, where cell changes occur in the cervix at the opening to the uterus, is a more common outcome from HPV infection.
I have a huge group of patients with persistent HPV infection who have never had any reason to need treatment, Trimble says. So if you have HPV, you can put it on your nuisance list and take it off your worry list.
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How Can Hpv Cause Cancer
You cant catch cancer itself, but HPV passes from person to person and can increase the risk of cancer developing. Most of the time the body clears the infection without it causing any problems.
Sometimes, one of the high-risk types of HPV isnt cleared and stays in the body. If this happens, the virus can cause changes to the DNA inside the cells so they start to behave differently. Over time, the affected cells can start to grow out of control, which can lead to cancer.
Treatment For Cell Changes Caused By Hpv Infection
Although HPV infection itself cannot be treated, there are treatments for the precancerous cell changes caused by infection with high-risk HPV.
Precancerous cervical cell changes: Most women who have precancerous cervical cell changes are treated with the loop electrosurgical excision procedure , which is a method to remove the abnormal tissue.
Learn more about treatments for abnormal cervical cell changes.
HPV-related cancers: Individuals who develop an HPV-related cancer generally receive the same treatment as patients with tumors at the same site that are not related to HPV infection. However, patients with HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancer may receive different treatments than patients whose oropharyngeal cancers are not caused by HPV.
Learn more about treatment options for oropharyngeal cancer, including targeted therapy and new types of treatment such as immunotherapy being tested in clinical trials.
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