WARTS/HUMAN PAPIILLOMA VIRUS-HPV
HPV is a DNA virus associated with lesions of cervix. These lesions are classified as low or high grade. High-grade intraepithelial lesions caused by HPV are detected in 95% of cases with premalignant lesions and cervical cancer. Although high-grade intraepithelial lesions indicate that there is an increased likelihood of cervical cancer, it is important to understand that a positive diagnosis for HPV does not necessarily imply cancer. Low-grade intraepithelial lesions may cause warts of the genial organs.
All women over 18 (or even younger) who are sexually active should be tested at least once a year. The annual gynecological examination includes a Pap test. Human warts virus infection – HPV is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections and a leading cause of premalignant lesions and cervical cancer. Pap test can detect an infection and determine the nature of the epithelial cells of the vagina and cervix, i.e. whether they are normal or if there are low or high intraepithelial lesions.
- HPV is quite common, but most people do not know that they are infected.
- There are more than 120 different types of HPV
- Visible warts are caused by HPV type 6 and 11.
- Types 16 and 18 are largely detected in the general population and may lead to cervical cancer if left untreated. They usually do not cause visible warts.
- The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 13,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year.
- The percentage of women with cervical cancer who survive for at least five years exceeds 90%.
- Human Papilloma virus (HPV) infection, usually infests at first sexual contacts. Smoking and/or other habits that can negatively affect the immune system and HIV infection are some of the risk factors for cervical cancer.
After evaluating the results of the Pap test, your Doctor will help you through the next steps. If the pap test results are normal, then you are not at immediate risk of developing precancerous or cancerous lesions and the Pap test should be repeated within a year. If your previous Pap test had detected HPV DNA and precancerous lesions (low or high grade), your Doctor may recommend repeating the Pap test sooner. If for the first time you do not receive a normal Pap test, the next steps will be defined accordingly to the findings. It is important to ask your doctor:
- Based on my medical l history and the results of the Pap test, what options do I have? What tests should I take and what treatment should I follow?
- What do you propose I should do next and for what reason?
- Are there any possible risks or side effects/complications?
- When should I repeat the Pap test?