What is HPV? Is It Cancer?

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Is HPV CANCER? — Sandy, UT

Screen Shot 2014-05-19 at 8.55.15 AM What is HPV? Is it Cancer? Let’s start with what it is. HPV stands for Human Papilloma Virus. It is a virus that is primarily spread through sexual activity. The HPV virus can have no signs or symptoms and still be spread to others through vaginal, anal and oral sex.

How do I know if I have it?

There are no tests for HPV.  You may discover you have HPV when other diseases caused by the virus arise. Some people find out they have HPV when they get genital warts. Women may find out they have HPV when they get an abnormal Pap test result (during cervical cancer screening). Others may only find out once they’ve developed more serious problems from HPV, such as cancers.

Is HPV a type of Cancer?

No, but it can cause cancer such as: cervical, vulvar, vaginal, penile, anal, and oropharyngeal (back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils).

Can I get HPV if I have only had one partner?

Yes. Anyone who is sexually active can get HPV, even if you have had sex with only one person. You also can develop symptoms years after you have sex with someone who is infected making it hard to know when you first became infected.

How do I prevent getting HPV?

If you are wondering “how to prevent HPV,” our Sandy, UT clinic recommends several things to lower your chances of getting HPV:

  • Get vaccinated. HPV vaccines are safe and effective. They can protect males and females against diseases (including cancers) caused by HPV when given in the recommended age groups. All boys and girls ages 11 or 12 years should get vaccinated. Catch-up vaccines are recommended for males through age 21 and for females through age 26, if they did not get vaccinated when they were younger.
  • HPV vaccines are given in three shots over six months; it is important to get all three doses.
  • Get screened for cervical cancer. Routine screening for women aged 21 to 65 years old can prevent cervical cancer.

If you are sexually active:

  • Use latex condoms the right way every time you have sex. This can lower your chances of getting HPV. But HPV can infect areas that are not covered by a condom – so condoms may not give full protection against getting HPV;
  • Be in a mutually monogamous relationship – or have sex only with someone who only has sex with you.

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Call us to learn more about our cancer rehab center in Sandy, UT. 

Information provided by the center for disease control and prevention.

Please contact your personal physician with questions or concerns you may have. CRC does not administer medical advice.

-brought to you by Cancer Rehabilitation Centers

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