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Other Topics: HPV and Pregnancy, HPV Virus, Vaginal HPV Infection, HPV Symptom, Pregnant with HPV, Human Papillomavirus, Human Papillomavirus Infection, HPV and Cervical Cancer, Pap Smear and HPV, Genital Wart

HSR Research > HPV testing

HPV testing

HPV testing helps to reveal HPV infection and identify the HPV type if the virus is present. Human Papilloma Virus was known as the main cause of cutaneous and genital benign tumors (papillomas and condylomas), but only recently HPV has been found to have carcinogenic potential and to induce cancerous changes on the cervix. It is related to the fact that HPV is difficult to detect by traditional methods of diagnosis. 

A widespread application of DNA detection techniques (in particular, polymerase chain reaction) makes it possible to evaluate the risk for precancerous cervical conditions and to evaluate the efficacy of the treatment. Since there are about one hundred types of HPV, DNA HPV testing helps to determine what viral types are present. Depending on the risk of cancer, HPV types are divided into low risk and high risk types. Low risk HPV types are associated with genital condylomas. And high risk HPV types are detected in almost all cases of cervical cancer. 

HPV testing helps to identify the virus even if there are no obvious symptoms. It is very important that visible signs of HPV infection do not appear during a long period. A woman may not observe the presence of the virus, but a persistent infection only increases the risk of serious lesions. Mild and moderate cervical lesions progress into severe lesions in about 15-20% of patients, and up to one out of ten women with severe lesions may develop cancer. However, the progress from one stage to another takes much time which enables health care providers to detect precancerous changes and prevent cancer. 

It is well known that prevention is much better than cure. HPV testing provides the possibility to find the virus before the first symptoms or early lesions occur. It is recommended for sexually active women to undergo an HPV DNA test. If a woman is positive for a high risk HPV type, she should regularly, at least once every six months, have pelvic exams along with colposcopy and Pap smear.

HPV testing and Pap smear screening play a great role in cervical cancer prevention programs, because they ensure an early detection of the disease. Cervical cancer is the second most common malignant disease in women after breast cancer. But the incidence and mortality rates of cervical cancer have really decreased, especially in developed countries, after health care providers began to apply Pap smears and HPV testing.

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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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