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HSR Research > High risk HPV type

High risk HPV type

Women with high risk HPV type infection are at an increased risk for cervical cancer. HPV infection is very common in sexually active people. HPV (Human Papilloma virus) is able to provoke abnormal changes in epithelial cells of different organs. In the majority of cases HPV-induced cellular changes are not harmful to human health. However, it was found that certain types of HPV are responsible for approximately 90% of cervical cancers.

Specialists divide HPV types into low risk and high risk HPV types, based on the association with cancer of the cervix. Virtually all cervical cancers and the majority of cervical dysplasias are associated with high risk HPV types. At the same time, when a woman has a high risk HPV type, it does not signify she will necessarily develop cervical cancer, although she is at greater risk.

It is possible that infection with a high risk HPV type will disappear without treatment. The risk of cervical cancer is higher, if the following factors are present in the history of the infected person: smoking, the first sexual contact before the age of 16, having multiple sex partners, sexually transmitted diseases, prenatal exposure to diethylstilboestrol and some others. But a persistent high risk HPV type infection is the most important risk factor. If a high risk HPV type is present in the cervical tissue during a long period, at first, it induces precancerous cell changes called dysplasia which can progress to cancer with time.

The treatment of an HPV-infected person depends on the condition caused by the virus. Patients with HPV infection who have no lesions may just require regular medical check-ups without any treatment. Usually the follow-up of such patients includes colposcopy examination and HPV DNA testing. The majority of HPV infections, both with high risk HPV type or low risk HPV type, resolve naturally. If cervical lesions associated with a high risk HPV type are present, they may be treated by cryotherapy, laser, electro-excision or cold knife conisation.

The progression from precancerous lesions to cervical cancer may take several years. Therefore, it is possible to reveal precancerous lesions by regular Pap smear screening. It is also important to identify women with high risk HPV infection because it enables doctors to assess the risk for cancer. Testing for high risk HPV type infection and Pap smears have allowed to decrease the prevalence of cervical cancer.

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Cervical Dysplasia
Genital Warts
Plantar Warts
Genital Herpes
Oral Herpes
Other Conditions

Dr. Joe Glickman, Jr., M.D.

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