In the United States, high-risk HPV causes 3% of all cancers in women and 2% of all cancers in men. Each year, there are about 45,000 new cases of cancer in parts of the body where HPV is often found, and HPV is estimated to cause about 36,000 of these cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The vast majority of cervical cancer (more than 95%) is due to human papillomavirus (HPV). Most people infected with HPV will never have any symptoms and will not develop cancer because of the infection, but some will.
More information about HPV and cancer risk below. The human papillomavirus (HPV) has won its share of media attention. And while much of the information available is accurate, there are also many myths about HPV infection, the most common sexually transmitted virus in the United States. HPV is responsible for up to 99% of all cervical cancers.
During Cervical Cancer Awareness Month,. Konstantin Zakashansky, a gynecological oncologist at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City who treats women with cervical cancer to dispel the myths of the facts about HPV and cervical cancer. It is estimated that about 8 out of 10 people will be infected with HPV at some point in their lives. However, remember that it usually doesn't cause any symptoms and most people will never know they had it.
Having HPV doesn't mean someone is definitely going to have cancer. There are more than 200 types of HPV, and many are completely harmless and go away on their own. However, 13 types of HPV can cause cervical cancer and 1 of these types can also cause cancer of the throat, anus, vulva, vagina and penis. The types of HPV that can cause cancer are called high-risk HPV.
Other types of HPV can cause warts, such as genital warts. These types are called low-risk HPV and do NOT lead to cancer. Many types of HPV have no symptoms. For women who are sexually active, there is an HPV screening test that can detect the strains of HPV most commonly associated with cervical cancer.
During this test, a trained health professional takes a sample of cells from a woman's cervix. This sample is analyzed by a pathologist. A pathologist is a doctor who specializes in interpreting laboratory tests and evaluating cells, tissues, and organs to diagnose diseases. The HPV test can be done alone or with a Pap smear.
Pap smears look for any abnormal changes in the sample of cells removed from the cervix. Often, both tests can use the same sample. Genital HPV can infect any part of the genital area, including the vulva, the inside of the vagina, or the penis. Cervical cancer is the most commonly associated type of cancer with HPV, but research has suggested that up to 3% and 2% of all cancers in women and men, respectively, are caused by HPV.
9-valent vaccine protects against 5 additional oncogenic HPV types, which cause 20% more cervical cancers. People infected with “high-risk” types of HPV for a long time are more likely to develop cancer. Cervical cancer is the most common HPV-associated cancer among women, and oropharyngeal cancers (cancers of the back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils) are the most common among men. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends HPV vaccination to prevent new HPV infections and cancers and other HPV-associated diseases.
Some countries have started vaccinating children, as vaccination prevents HPV-related cancers in men, as well as. Screening for cervical cancer includes testing for HPV infection for precancer and cancer, followed by treatment as appropriate. Among women whose cervical cells are infected with high-risk HPV, several factors increase the likelihood that the infection will last a long time and lead to the formation of precancerous cervical cells. When screening tests detect an HPV infection or precancerous lesions, they can be easily treated and cancer can be avoided.
Some cervical cancers stem from HPV infection of cervical gland cells and are called adenocarcinomas. However, WHO suggests that self-collected samples can be used when testing HPV DNA (this does not apply to HPV mRNA testing). Learn more about HPV and Pap smears and learn the next steps after an abnormal or positive Pap smear. Precancerous cell changes caused by persistent HPV infection in the cervix rarely cause symptoms, which is why regular screening for cervical cancer is important.