79 million Americans are infected with Human Papillomavirus (HPV). It is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States.
There are more than 100 different kinds of HPV, and at least 14 of them can cause cancer, according to the World Health Organization.
HPV can be transmitted by someone who doesn’t have any symptoms, and it can show up years after it was transmitted. This makes it hard to control: people may not know when they were infected. Usually, HPV has no symptoms and goes away on its own within two years.
However, HPV can lead to genital warts, and even to cancer. Different types of HPV cause these two different problems, and it may take years or even decades to develop either one.
There is no screening test for HPV, though HPV testing can be included with or used as a follow-up to a Pap test. There is also no treatment for HPV.
If there are usually no symptoms and no treatment for HPV, can you ignore it? The answer is definitely no. HPV can cause six types of cancer. It’s not possible to predict who will develop these cancers after being infected with HPV, though people with weakened immune systems may be more susceptible.
Fortunately, there are effective vaccines for many kinds of HPV, including some of the kinds that cause cancer.
These vaccines are most effective before exposure to HPV. This is why HPV vaccines are recommended for children; it’s best to be vaccinated before becoming sexually active.
Renaissance Women’s Healthcare provides Human Papillomavirus Vaccine called Gardasil. Gardasil is an FDA approved HPV vaccine used to help prevent genital warts and cervical cancer in females from 9 to 26 years of age. It is administered with three injections spread out over a six month period. For more information about Gardasil, visit www.gardasil.com.
Call Renaissance at (479) 582-3366 with questions, or for an appointment for HPV vaccine for yourself or your daughter.