HPV is a group virus that can affect skin and lining mucosae if the related organs. There are almost one hundred types of HPV and about 40 of these can affect the genital area. Some HPV can cause skin warts or verrucas.
Genital warts are the most common STD and re caused by HPV type 6 and HPV type 11. These types of HPV do not cause cervical cancer. Some of the other types of HPV can cause cervical cancer or other types of cancers.
What Is HPV?
HPV are sub-groups of viruses that belong to the family of Papovaviridae that infect humans, producing genital warts & other benign tumors, as well as cancers of the genital tract and of the cervix in women.
They are small viruses containing circular double-stranded DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid); more than 100 different types of HPVs have been identified by DNA analysis.
Approximately 4% of all cancers are associated with HPV. Genital HPV infections are very common, are sexually transmitted, and have a greater risk between ages 18 and 30.
Most of these infections clear on their own, but in 15%+ of women, these infections remain persistent and are at risk of progression to grade 2/3 cervical intraepithelial neoplasm.
Does HPV Cause Cancer?
In most of the cases, HPV goes away on its own without any symptoms, but it persist for long it takes other cancer causing types along with it.
HPV can cause cervical and other cancers including cancer of the vulva, vagina, penis, or anus. It can also cause cancer in the back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils.
We cannot say that the people who have HPV will develop cancer or other health problems. People with weak immune systems, such as the people with HIV/AIDS and other STDs may be less able to fight against HPV and more likely to develop health problems from it.
When HPV infects a cell, it desegregates its DNA into the genome of the “host cell”. At this point the virus does not start dividing, but only produces the proteins necessary to force the DNA synthesis machinery of the host cell.
Two of these viral genes, “E6” and “E7”, can act as “cancer-inducing genes”. The proteins they encode bind to the protein products of two important “tumor suppressor genes” blocking the actions of these proteins and allowing the cell to grow and divide until cancer.
What Are the Symptoms of High-Risk HPV?
Like other STDs, HPV goes unchecked because it is asymptomatic for the most part of life. Most of the people unknowingly pass this virus to their partners causing spread of this STD.
If the virus doesn’t go away on its own, it can cause very serious health problems to the individuals. These health problems include genital warts and warts in the throat. HPV can also cause cervical cancer and other cancers of the genitals, head, neck, and throat.
Warts are the most common symptom of HPV. Warts may appear as rough bumps that usually take place on the hands, fingers or elbows.
Plantar warts are hard that most often appear on the heels or balls of feet, areas that feel the most pressure. These warts can cause irritation or pain.
Flat warts are flat-topped; little raised lesions and is darker than the regular skin color. They usually appear on the face, neck or on areas that have been scratched.
How Can I Know If I Have High-Risk HPV?
There is currently no simple test to determine whether a person has HPV. First of the all the doctor will perform an examination about what type of warts is there and then for clear magnification he will apply an acidic solution, and the hidden warts will easily be seen. Pap test and HPV detection test can also be taken to find out the infection.
Is There a Treatment for High-Risk HPV?
For the treatment of genital warts certain methods are used that include cryotherapy, electrodessication, laser treatment and medication.
How Is HPV Spread?
HPV is one of the most common STDs so it can spread through “unprotected sexual contact” & “skin-to-skin” contact of healthy person with an infected one.
How Can I Prevent Getting or Spreading HPV?
To prevent HPV from spread use condoms and limit sexual partners. Get HPV vaccine for boys and girls aged 11 or 12 and one can get vaccinated until age 26. To prevent health problems associated with HPV, be sure to get the regular health checkups & screenings.