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Other Topics: HPV Virus, Anal HPV, HPV Test, HPV Shot, HPV Vaccines, Human Papilloma Virus Symptom, Human Papilloma Virus Vaccine , Cervix Cancer, Cervical Cone Biopsy, Genital Wart Pic

HSR Research > High risk HPV

High risk HPV

HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) is a common name for a group of viruses which includes low risk HPV types and high risk HPV types. HPV is a widespread infection among sexually active populations. This virus can cause abnormal cellular changes in different parts of the body. Most of the time these cell changes are benign and not dangerous for health. But in some cases HPV is associated with malignant tumors which may be fatal for the affected person. 

Based on the association with cervical cancer HPV types are divided into low risk and high risk HPV types. High risk HPV types are detected almost in all cases of cervical cancer and in a large number of precancerous cervical conditions.  If a woman is infected by a high risk HPV type she is at greater risk of cancer, but it doesn’t mean that she will necessarily develop cancer. 

Infections with high risk HPV types may go away on their own, especially if the infected person has a strong immune system. There are different risk factors for cervical cancer like smoking, having multiple sex partners, prenatal exposure to DES (diethylstilboestrol) and others, but a persistent high risk HPV infection is the most important one. At an early stage of development HPV infection causes precancerous cell changes on the cervix, called cervical dysplasia, which lead to cancer if left untreated over a long period. 

Unlike high risk HPV types, low risk types are rarely associated with malignant lesions. But they also may cause abnormal cell changes. Low risk HPV infected cells form benign tumors on the cutaneous or mucosal membranes. These tumors are known as warts which may grow on different parts of the body. The size of warts varies, and in many cases they can’t be seen by the naked eye. Most HPV infected people don’t develop obvious symptoms and they don’t know they carry this virus. 

The treatment for HPV infection depends on the health problems induced by the virus. If HPV is detected, but the patient has no lesions, there may be no treatment at all. Most of HPV infections, both with low risk and high risk HPV types, clear up on their own. When mild lesions are present, doctors may prescribe use of special creams or solutions along with antiviral drugs.

Severe lesions usually require surgical removal. They may be treated by cryotherapy, laser, electro-excision or cold knife conization. In some cases, especially when high risk HPV associated lesions involve a large area, it may be necessary to remove the whole cervix or even the uterus.

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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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