HPV stands for human papillomavirus, and it is actually a group of viruses that are known to be the major cause of cervical cancer.
When talking about high risk HPV the specialists are referring to those that are the most likely to cause cancer since there are so many different kinds of viruses. On the other hand the low risk viruses rarely cause cancer.
HPV that is high risk and cancer
About half a million women are affected by cervical cancer, caused by HPV, all over the world. About 250,000 women die because of this condition on a yearly basis. According to different studies, the virus might be responsible for other kinds of cancers as well, such as the cancers of the vulva, anus, vagina and even some of the cancers of the oropharynx.
In case of men the high risk HPV could cause penile cancer that means the cancer of the penis.
Types of HPV
In case you are thinking about HPV that is high risk you should know that there are numerous kinds of them, and the bad news is that they are flat and almost invisible compared to the warts that are caused by other kinds of HPV.
These viruses make some changes in the cells, and this could lead to the development of the cancer in case it is left untreated. Even more, in case you have an HPV infection that doesn’t seem to go away, it may be the most important risk factor in case of the cervical cancer.
Nonetheless you should remember that if you have high risk HPV it doesn’t mean that you also have cervical cancer. It is important to know that in the majority of the cases these viruses cause no visible harm and they clear out on their own. In case there are some damages done, regular Pap smears can find the cellular changes and so it is possible to prevent cervical cancer.
Testing for HPV that is high risk
In the majority of the cases the doctors find that their patients have been infected by HPV after they see the abnormal results of a Pap smear.
Although the test isn’t suitable to diagnose HPV infection, it shows the effects of it. For this infection there is a test that positively shows the infection, but it isn’t able to determine the kind of virus that you have been infected with.
In order to avoid infection with high risk HPV there has been a vaccine developed that effectively prevents the infection with two major HPV types. These kinds of HPV viruses cause about 70% of the cervical cancers. Also by getting vaccinated you could avoid being infected by genital warts.
High risk HPV and low risk HPV
In case of the low risk types in the majority of the cases there are no signs of the infection, or they could cause treatable conditions, such as genital warts. It is important to remember that they do not cause cervical cancer. It could take days, weeks, months or even years for an infected person to form warts after the sexual intercourse has taken place.
When thinking about HPV that is high risk you should know that warts could appear inside or outside the vagina, vulva, cervix, groin or even around the anus. In case of men warts appear around the penis, thigh, scrotum, groin or anus. It is quite rare, but warts could also appear in the throat or mouth if the patient had oral sex with an infected person.
In case of high risk HPV the size of the warts might also be of interest for you. The truth is that the size varies. They could be quite large, but they could also be so small that you can’t even see them. They could have the color of flesh and they can be flat, but on the other hand they could have the shape of a cauliflower and look bumpy. In the majority of the cases they appear in groups and the symptoms that you experience include burning, itching and discomfort.
You shouldn’t be waiting for warts to appear in case of the HPV that is of high risk. This is because in some cases people have been infected by the virus, but since there are no visible symptoms, they will never know that they have high risk HPV. Also they don’t have any other symptoms indicating the presence of the virus either. Just listen to what your body has to say.