Human papillomavirus is a very common sexually transmitted disease. It is a DNA virus that can be found at the mucous membranes of the entire genital area as well as the mouth and throat. It has lots of subtypes. Some types are harmless. Other types (oncogenic types) may lead to cancers.
Have a look at the following descriptions. You can prevent these diseases if you do not get infected with human papillomavirus. Use condom when you have sex, and, most of all, get vaccinated against human papillomavirus!
Risk Factors of HPV
If your immune system is weak (after an illness), you have multiple children. You have been taking oral contraceptives for a long time or you have a chronic inflammation within the genital area. If that is the case you are more likely to get infected with HPV and develop cervical cancer.
HPV Related Diseases
If you live with human papillomavirus, you are at risk of developing cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer has no symptoms. By the time it has symptoms (for example, you bleed between periods, sex is painful, you bleed after having sex. Your period is unusually long or you have plenty of vaginal discharge), it is in an advanced stage. However, the disease does have warning signs: cancerous cells in the lining of your cervix. Only a health care provider is able to detect the subtle changes within your cells. Get tested! Pap tests or HPV DNA tests may save your life.
If the lab tests mean bad news, your health care provider will ask you to undergo further testing. Your doctor might want to a biopsy, a tissue sample from your cervix.
Cancer can spread to other organs within your body. Your doctor might suggest x-rays, MRI or CT scan.
Probably it is only your cervix that is affected, probably cancer has spread to the vagina, too.
There is no treatment available for human papillomavirus infection. On the other hand, doctors are able to heal related conditions like genital warts, precancerous lesions and – if detected early – cancers.
Precancerous cervical lesions can be treated by cryosurgery (freezing the cancerous cells); loop electrosurgical excision procedure which means your health care provider surgically removes the cancerous tissue with a hot wire loop; surgical conization i.e. removing a cone shaped part of tissue, using a laser, a scalpel or both of them; as well as laser vaporization conization.
You may undergo a surgery, radiation therapy or chemotherapy, or a therapy of the combination of the three. They may have side-effects.
HPV Related Cancers and Treatment
HPV can lead to other types of cancer: vaginal cancer, penile cancer.
Doctors can treat these conditions with medication, chemotherapy, surgery, electrosurgery, cryosurgery or laser surgery. It depends on the type of cancer you have, your age, health, and the stage of the cancer. Your health care providers may want to remove the cancerous tissues, as much as possible.