Study Shows that Two-Thirds of Healthy Adults May Carry HPV

However, Only 4 out of 103 tested positive for Cancer-Causing Virus

bigstock-Eye-close-up--brown-eyes-look-48482831Ladies, when you consider a pap smear to help test for abnormalities of the cervix, you are doing yourself the biggest favor of all to support a healthy body. The Pap smear is a painless gynecological procedure that requires an instrument called the speculum to obtain cells from the vaginal canal and determine if the cells gathered indicate existence of precancerous growths. The Pap smear is a great test to find these abnormalities and allows for treatment to ensue before precancerous cells progress.

 

A new study revealed that more than two-thirds of healthy American adults are infected with human papillomavirus (HPV). Although this may sound shocking it is nothing to worry about at this point because most types of the virus are benign, and usually clear up without causing infection. Harmless wart viruses may help control the types that cause warts and cancer, according to researchers from NYU Langone Medical Center.

 

Currently there are 109 known different types of HPV. The high risk of HPV types are known as types 16 and 18, which cause cancers of the cervix, anus, penis and mouth, according to the U.S. National Cancer Institute. HPV types 6 and 11 cause lesions and genital warts, and there are vaccines that protect against them.

 

What researchers noted was that 61 percent of the infections were found on the skin. HPV was found in 41 percent of samples from the vagina and 30 percent from the mouth. Although there is broad evidence of normal HPV in people it does not indicate living with harmful infection forever. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that most sexually active men and women are bound to have at least one type of HPV at one point in their lifetime, but the infections clear up without causing harm.

 

Pap smears should be scheduled for every two years in all women after, sexually active or not. If you would like to learn more about your Pap test and protection against HPV, please contact our office to at 614) 882-4343, and schedule an appointment.

What Can Women do to Prevent Cervical Cancer

Although it hasn’t always been discussed as widely as it is today, women are at risk of cervical cancer, in large part due to the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). HPV has many types of viruses, many of which can be transmitted sexually. The transmission can lead to genital warts or abnormal cell changes in the cervix. Since HPV is the most important risk factor for cervical cancer and precancers it is important for women to take precautions to avoid HPV infections. To help prevent the risk of cervical cancer, women should visit their healthcare provider or physician to schedule a pap smear and learn about the HPV vaccine.

A Pap smear is a procedure to test for cervical cancer or precancerous cells in the cervix, narrow end of the uterus at the top of the vagina. This test is designed to detect abnormalities that lead to cancer. An abnormal Pap smear is a often shows an irregular presence in the cervix or cervical area. It does not mean that the patient has cancer, it means that more in-depth tests may be required to test for infections and viruses.

There are multiple risks that stem from abnormal Pap smears if left untreated. Use the following as a guide to help prevent from cervical cancer.

Preventing Cervical Cancer

Many sexually active men and women may contract HPV at one point in their lives. The virus does not cause any symptoms and often the disease can be treated if detected early. Treating HPV is necessary to deter the risk of developing cervical cancer. There are ways to reduce the risk of cervical cancer. Here are six things women can do to reduce the risk:

  • Get a Pap smear regularly

  • Follow up on abnormal Pap smears

  • Quit smoking

  • Limit the number of sexual partners

  • Practice safe sex

  • Get the HPV vaccine

Pap smears are recommended for women once they reach the age of 20. From this age until 29 women should get a Pap test once every three years. From 30 to 65 years old, women with normal Pap tests can have Pap smears once every five years. Women who have had cancer or have a higher risk of cancer should talk with their doctor to decide which screening is suitable for them.

If a Pap smear is abnormal treatment may be administered or a repeat pap smear may be scheduled to confirm the results. Treatment is often initiated after further diagnostic tests are performed.

People do not call them cancer sticks for nothing, so quit smoking to avoid cancer development. Once the body is infected with HPV, smoking can double the risks of failing to fight the disease and speed up cancerous growth of precancerous cells.

Women who have multiple sexual partners throughout the course of a lifetime increase their risks of cervical cancer. Men who are infected with HPV show no signs of the disease, but women can develop genital warts.

Unprotected sex puts women at risk of HIV and other STDs which further increases the risk of cancer. Practicing safe sex can tremendously increase safety for both parties involved.

Women under the age of 27 may be eligible to receive the HPV vaccine. The vaccine prevents strains of HPV in women. Girls can receive the vaccine as early as nine years old. The vaccines will not protect against existing HPV strains, but if the vaccine is administered before a woman becomes sexually active they will successfully prevent strains.

According to the American Cancer Society, HPV is the main cause of cervical cancer and precancerous cells. By avoiding contact or exposure to HPV you can help prevent against cervical cancer. The body can transmit the disease through sexual or non-sexual contact. HPV infections usually occur in women younger than 30. The virus usually spreads from male to female contact, but HPV can still be transmitted from woman-to-woman contact.

Schedule an Appointment

If you want to know how to prevent cervical cancer or are due for a Pap smear, visit Dr. Mervyn Samuel. He provides medical advice for women and is experienced in treating HPV. Discover how you can protect yourself from cervical cancer for a safer and healthier body.