Do you know that about 13,000 women are diagnosing with cervical cancer in the United States every year!
Cervical cancer is the cancer that initiates in the cervix, the part of the womb (or uterus) that opens to the vagina.
Actually, a virus called Human papillomavirus, generally known as HPV, causes this cervical cancer.
HPV is very common type of virus that most women get infected at some time in their lives.
The likelihood of getting an HPV infection sometime in one’s life has been estimated to be seventy-five percent or more.
In fact, there are over 100 subtypes of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). Most of them do not cause major disease in an individual but some HPV subtypes infect only the genital area and can cause warts.
Remember, the types of HPV that are found in the genital areas are usually passed on during sexual contact (sexually transmitted) and subtypes that cause warts on the hands or feet do not cause genital warts or cervical cell changes.
Also, there are few subtypes that cause mild changes in cervical cells where it don’t develop into cancer. However, some subtypes particularly types 16 and 18, 31 and 33 (called high risk subtypes) are been confirmed as causable viruses for cervical cancer.
When a person gets infected with HPV subtype and the infection doesn’t vanish on its own, abnormal cells can grow in the lining of the cervix. If that person doesn’t discover and treat in early stages, then these abnormal cells can become cervical pre-cancers and leads to cancer.
Actually, you have a high chance of being exposed to this virus with sexual relationships involving genital contact with an infected person, but only a few HPV infected women can develop cell changes, which can lead to cervical cancer.
Most of the time, the immune system in your body will maintain the virus subtypes under control or get rid of it completely without any treatment.
But, if the infection remains in your body for many years, then you have a greater chance of developing cell changes and cervical cancer. However, the presence of HPV leading to cervical cancer will be in very rare cases.
From a research, it is also been found that women with a mild or normal smear result who have no indication of high risk HPV infection are very doubtful to develop cervical cancer.
On the other hand, almost hundred percent of all cervical cancers have ‘High risk’ HPV subtypes.
The HPV can be prevented through early detection and treatment of abnormal cell changes that occur in the cervix years before cervical cancer develops.
However, currently you have no treatment exist for the HPV itself but there are good treatment options available for the infections caused by HPV. For instance, cervical cell changes or genital warts can be treated with appropriate treatment options.
So, consult your healthcare professional where he/she discusses about treatment with you, if you are in a need of it!