What is HPV?
HPV is short for Human Papillomavirus. About 30 types of HPV affect the genital area. Some types can cause cancer. Other types can cause genital warts. ALL types of genital HPV can cause abnormal Pap smears. HPV often has no signs or symptoms, so many people don't know they have it. In result of not knowing, many pass on the virus. Anyone who has any kind of sexual activity involving genital contact can get HPV - intercourse is not necessary.
Did you know?
- Cervical cancer is caused by certain types of HPV.
- While half of all woman diagnosed with cervical cancer are between the ages of 35-55 years old, many of these women were probably exposed to cancer-causing HPV types in their teens or 20s.
- It is a fact that 8 out of 10 women will get HPV by the time they're 50!
- HPV can affect MEN and women - it's not a virus only certain women get!
I would recommend that you inform yourself by visiting HPV.com
Also, talk to your doctor about ways you can protect yourself from cervical cancer and make sure you get a YEARLY pap smear. A Pap smear can't diagnose HPV. But it can look for abnormal cells (that are caused by HPV) in the lining of the cervix before the cells become precancer or cancer. There is also a vaccine called Gardasil, which is the only cervical cancer vaccine that protects against 4 types of HPV.
I will admit that I knew little about HPV (I know I'm not the only one), so I encourage you to spread the word. By reposting this or linking to this post, you can educate so many women! Thank you.
Note: You can register for a email reminder from the College of American Pathologists. You can choose any date you like, and a message will be sent to the email address you specify reminding you to schedule your screening test.