According to the National Cervical Cancer Coalition (NCCC), approximately 6 million new cases of sexually transmitted Human Papillomavrus (HPV) occur in the U.S. each year, with at least 20 million people estimated to be currently infected. Most people with HPV, though, do not know that they are infected. HPV is the name of a group of viruses that infect the skin. There are more than 100 different types of HPV. Some type of genital HOP may cause warts, while other type of genital HPV are linked to abnormal cell changes on the cervix (detected through Pap tests) that can lead to cervical cancer.
It is estimated that 70% of women and men will come into contact with it during their life. Fortunately 80 to 90% of cases the human papillomavrus will be naturally eliminated.
Ø HPV is spread through skin-to-skin contact, not through an exchange of bodily fluid.
Ø In most cases, the virus is harmless and most people have no symptoms. The body clears most HPV infections naturally.
Ø Though usually harmless, some high-risk types cause cervical cell changes that, if not detected in time, can turn into cancer. The majority of women with an HPV infection will not develop cervical cancer, but regular Pap tests are important.
Ø Cervical cancer most commonly takes 10 – 20 years more to develop; women who are no longer sexually active should still have Pap tests.
Ø Cervical cancer is the first cancer in women to be identified as being caused almost exclusively by a virus.
Ø The best way to screen for cervical cancer is a Pap test, which may be done alone or for women age 30 and older, in combination with an HPV DNA test.
Ø Cervical cancer is completely preventable if percancerous cell changes are detected and treated early.
For more information you can view: http://www.nccc-online.org