Risk Factors for HPVand Cervical Cancer Development
While men and women are both susceptible to the human papillomavirus (HPV), some people are more vulnerable to it due to genetic and environmental factors. The risks associated with it are major concerns in the medical world up until today, and these include the following:cervical cancer, and cancers of the anus, vulva, vagina and penis.
Human papillomavirus most commonly abbreviated, as HPV is a DNA virus that affects humans. This virus can be transmitted through skin-to-skin contact and sexual intercourse. Most of the HPV infections are asymptomatic and will not show any signs or symptoms. However, in some people, the infection can become clinical and will display signs and symptoms. This virus typically causes genital warts but in extreme cases, it can cause cancer in the penis, anus, vagina, vulva, and cervix. The good news is that there are new vaccines that have been developed to help prevent HPV infections. Approximately 70% of HPV infections that are clinical in young people may regress to a subclinical state in a year and 90% in two years. This means that the infection is not life-threatening in most cases. Viruses that lead to cancer are the most dangerous. Early detection and treatment methods can eliminate the chance of cancer developing and ensure that the infection is controlled. With proper treatment, a person can live with HPV without having to deal with any uncomfortable symptoms. With this, you can live a normal life, engage in relationships, and enjoy love and dating.
HPV is mainly transmitted via sexual contact, either through penetration, and skin-to-skin genital contact. This makes HPV a worldwide phenomenon.
To start off, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms of HPV to give a better overview of the disease:
Irregular menstrual periods
Abnormal vaginal bleeding after sexual intercourse
Back, leg or pelvic pain
Fatigue, weight loss, or loss of appetite
Vaginal discomfort or discharge
Although a seemingly innocent virus, HPV can be a traitor of its own when left untreated. HPV is the precursor to many cancers, most common of which is cervical cancer. On a healthy woman, it can take 15-20 years for cervical cancer to develop; on a woman with weakened immune systems, it can take as little as 5-10 years.
Apart from getting infected from an HPV-positive partner, it is important to know the risks involved in the development of cervical cancer:
Early first sexual intercourse
Multiple sexual partners
Immune suppression caused by other disease/s
Prevention is always better than cure, and so to be proactive in being treated by a medical professional on the first signs of HPV infection is the best way to do it.
As of today, women are the only ones with early testing for HPV infection: HPV test and Pap test. The HPV test is conclusive as it can say whether the HPV strain in your body can cause cancer. The Pap test can verify this when the doctor decides to do a DNA test on the Pap smear. Unfortunately for men, no testing has been developed just yet to check on their HPV infection, except for the inconclusive genital warts that can also be found on women.
Although treatable by HPV vaccination, many sufferers find it an isolating disease. They feel like their peers cannot accept them more so by the bigger society. However times have changed and online technologies have made it possible for “positives” to mingle. HPV should never hinder anyone from meeting new friends, dating, and falling in love. Check out Meet Positives and sign up for free: you will “never have ‘the talk’ again.”
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