Friday, March 11, 2011

HPV and Cervical Cancer

If your a woman or even a man in todays society then I'm sure you have heard of Gardasil. Gardasil is a vaccine that can protect against four types of Human Papillomaviruses (HPV).  The vaccine can protect against two types of HPV that can cause cervical cancer, cancer of the cervix, and two more types that cause genital warts. Although outside of those four types of HPV, there are more than a 150 viruses that are related. Forty types of these viruses are sexually transmitted, even through only genital contact. Types 16 and 18 cause about 75% of cervical cancer cases in women and types 6 and 11 cause about 90% of genital warts in females and males.

It has been recognized that HPV is directly related and the cause of cervical cancers. There are two types of HPV that are related to cervical cancer and these are named low-risk and high-risk types. Both of the types can create growth of abnormal cells, but the only type of HPV that leads to cancer is the high-risk type. Once those cervical cells begin to change, it can take 10-15 years before an invasive cervical cancer appears. When the cells change they become pre-cancerous and if detected early on, it can be treated before the cells become cancerous.

The problem that people have who contract HPV and who are at risk for cervical cancer, is that there are very little symptoms and it is said that symptoms do not always occur. A few symptoms include; low back pain, pain during sex, and painful urination. These symptoms can also be connected to many other conditions and therefore it doesn't mean a person necessarily has cervical cancer.

Cervical cancer is more common in woman than men and the reasons are unknown, but regardless it can be deadly.There are 30 women each day in the United States that are diagnosed with cervical cancer. In 2010 it was estimated over 12,000 women would be diagnosed with cervical cancer and and that 4,000 women would die from it.

To stop women from being victims of cervical cancer, HPV can be detected early on. HPV DNA tests are used to look for viral DNA and can detect a viral infection before abnormal cells appear. Another test used is the Pap test, which is a screening test that detects cervical cell changes. All of these tests are approved by the FDA for women but unfortunately there aren't any approved tests for men.


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