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Human papillomavirus (HPV) : Overview


HPV infection may be a 
virus infection that commonly causes skin or mucosa growths (warts). There are quite 100 sorts of human papillomavirus (HPV). Some sorts of HPV infection cause warts, and a few can cause differing types of cancer.

Most HPV infections don't lead to cancer. But some sorts of 
genital HPV can cause cancer of the lower a part of the uterus that connects to the vagina (cervix). Other sorts of cancers, including cancers of the anus, penis, vagina, vulva and back of the throat (oropharyngeal), are linked to HPV infection.

These infections are often transmitted sexually or through other skin-to-skin contact. Vaccines can help protect against the strains of HPV presumably to cause genital warts or cervical cancer.



In most cases, your body's system 
defeats an HPV infection before it creates warts. When warts do appear, they vary in appearance counting on which type of HPV is involved:

Genital warts - These appear as flat lesions, small cauliflower-like bumps or tiny stemlike protrusions. In women, genital warts appear totally on 
the vulva but also can occur near the anus, on the cervix or within the vagina.
In men, genital warts appear on the penis and scrotum or round the anus. Genital warts rarely cause discomfort or pain, though they'll itch or feel tender.

Common warts - Common warts appear as rough, raised bumps and usually occur on the hands and fingers. In most cases, common warts are simply unsightly, but they will 
even be painful or vulnerable to injury or bleeding.

Plantar warts - Plantar warts are hard, grainy growths that sometimes 
appear on the heels or balls of your feet. These warts might cause discomfort.

Flat warts - Flat warts are flat-topped, slightly raised lesions. They can appear anywhere, but children usually get them on the face and men tend to urge 
them within the beard area. Women tend to get them on the legs.


Cervical cancer

Nearly all cervical cancers are caused by HPV infections, but cervical cancer may take 20 years or longer to develop after an HPV infection. The HPV infection and early cervical cancer typically don't cause noticeable symptoms. Getting vaccinated against HPV infection is your best protection from cervical cancer.

Because early cervical cancer doesn't cause symptoms, it is vital 
that ladies have regular screening tests to detect any precancerous changes within the cervix which may cause cancer. Current guidelines recommend that ladies ages 21 to 29 have a Pap test every three years.
Women ages 30 to 65 are advised to continue having a Pap test every three years, or every five years if they also get the HPV DNA test at the same time. Women over 65 can stop testing if they've had three normal Pap tests during a row, or two HPV DNA and Pap tests with no abnormal results.



HPV infection occurs when the virus enters your body, usually through a cut, abrasion or small tear in your skin. The virus is transferred primarily by skin-to-skin contact.

Genital HPV infections are contracted through sexual activity 
, sodomy and other skin-to-skin contact within the genital region. Some HPV infections that end in oral or upper respiratory lesions are contracted through head .
If you're pregnant and have an HPV infection with genital warts, it's possible your baby may get the infection. Rarely, the infection may cause a noncancerous growth within the baby's larynx (larynx).

Warts are contagious. They can spread through direct contact with a wart. Warts can also spread when someone touches something that already touched a wart.


Risk factors

HPV infections are common. Risk factors for HPV infection include:


Ø     Number of sexual partners. The more sexual partners you've got , the more likely you're to contract a genital HPV infection. Having sex with a partner who has had multiple sex partners also increases your risk.

Ø     Age. Common warts occur mostly in children. Genital warts occur most frequently in adolescents and young adults.

Ø     Weakened immune systems. People who have weakened immune systems are at greater risk of HPV infections. Immune systems are often weakened by HIV/AIDS or by immune system-suppressing drugs used after organ transplants.

Ø     Damaged skin. Areas of skin that are punctured or opened are more susceptible to develop common warts.

Ø     Personal contact. Touching someone's warts or not wearing protection before contacting surfaces that are exposed to HPV — like public showers or swimming pools — might increase your risk of HPV infection.



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