Published On: Wed, Sep 16th, 2020

Human Papillomavirus (HPV), the most common cause of cervix cancer

It is currently considered one of the most frequent infections in every person in reproductive age and who are sexually active.

There are more than 100 different serotypes (families) of Human Papillomavirus, within which more than 30 can be found in genital organs. This information should be taken into account, especially for women, due to the frequent association of several subtypes that can cause genital warts, precancerous lesions, and the most delicate, cervical-uterine cancer, among other symptoms and consequences.

Papillomavirus infection is the most common cause of cancer in a woman’s cervix, as well as multiple precancerous lesions throughout the genital, oral area, and where there is unprotected contact when having sex. So it is important to go to a gynecologic review in case of the minimum presence of alterations as well as an annual follow-up as it can also be asymptomatic and only discover it to physical examination or with a pap smear.

Now we will talk about injuries more specifically: there are condylomas, warts, or similar lesions, which can affect the entire genital tract, causing its uncomfortable presence (which are very unpleasant to look at) and in addition, a high risk of contagion. VPH is a high-risk virus (in terms of the potential to develop cancerous lesions in the cervix), so it is important to always treat and isolate the specific viral subtype that the patient has.

Ideal treatment depends on this specific subtype, which always should be individualized. The patient’s couple should always receive treatment too, to avoid possible sources of contagion.

Risk factors

Human Papilloma Infection usually spreads through a cut, a small tear in the skin, or sn abrasion, and this virus is mainly transmitted by skin-to-skin contact.

Risk factors for this common infection can include:

  • Warts: although warts can appear normally in children, genital warts appear typically in teens and young adults.
  • Multiple sexual partners: the more sexual partners the more likely you are to get a genital HPV infection, even if you use protection.
  • Weakened immune systems: People with weakened immune systems are at a higher risk for HPV infections.
  • Personal contact: you must avoid touching surfaces that have been exposed to HPV, as it can increase the risk of contracting it.

HPV lesions

As we have mentioned, some of the lesions caused by HPV divide in the following types:

  • Precancerous lesions: they are the precursors of cervical cancer and Human Papillomavirus Infection. Cervical cancer is considered a defining disease of AIDS.
  • Premalignant: can progress to the development of cervical cancer. These lesions are called SIL (Squamous intraepithelial lesion), classified according to grade since they are women who are chronic carriers of the virus.
  • Cervical cancer: it begins when healthy cells of the cervix develop changes (mutations) in their DNA.
  • Other injuries: less frequent injuries in both men and women include anogenital areas, extragenital areas such as the larynx, mouth, throat, or esophagus.

The best way to prevent HPV

To prevent Human Papillomavirus, it is best to get vaccinated against it. In addition to the different clinical repercussions of being a carrier or having a frank infection by this type of virus, we must achieve the ideal to prevent the continued spread of this so frequent pathology.

Given which, we have the resources of true and safe diagnosis to be able to determine, specifically what type of virus is the one that concerns us, determining its potential for progression to malignancy or precancerous lesions, providing the ideal therapeutic treatment to avoid the possibility of evolution towards this potentially harmful effect. In addition to having specific vaccines against the most common and aggressive ones, offering professional prevention and management, both specific and selective.

Dr. Francisco Abel Martínez Avila is a graduate of La Salle University, Mexican School of Medicine where he studied his Bachelor’s Degree in Surgeon from 1985 to 1990, he also graduated from the National Autonomous University of Mexico at the General Hospital “Dr. Manuel Gea González” SSA where he studied his Specialty in Gynecology and Obstetrics from 1993 to 1996.



Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>