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Something like 6 million people in the US have HPV. Because it is so common, understanding HPV symptoms and risks is vital to initial detection. Learn more about this condition by watching this video.
Transcript: Human papillomavirus, or HPV, is a group of wart-inducing viruses that infects more than 6.2 million...
Human papillomavirus, or HPV, is a group of wart-inducing viruses that infects more than 6.2 million American men and women each year. About 40 of the more than 100 varieties are transmitted through sexual contact. There is no cure for HPV, but most infections clear without treatment in mere months. There are, however, several high-risk strains that can linger, causing precancerous lesions or full-blown cancer. These require immediate medical attention to control. The 40 strains of HPV that affect the genitals are passed through sexual contact. Symptoms do not need to be present to pass the virus to another person. HPV can be passed to and from the skin of the penis, vulva, or anus, as well as the linings of the vagina, cervix, and rectum. In rare cases, genital HPV can also be passed from mother to child during a vaginal birth. Since most strains have adapted to specific areas of the body, not all contact is a potential way to spread HPV. Hand-to-genital contact, for example, is unlikely to infect the hand. The most obvious symptom of genital HPV is warts. These pink or flesh-colored swellings are soft to the touch and may be flat or raised. Most genital warts are cauliflower shaped, or lumpy, with irregular edges. Genital warts can range in size. Some people have just one or two, while others experience multiple warts in one area. More likely, however, a sufferer of genital HPV will have no symptoms of the virus at all, and will remain unaware that he or she is infected. Whether symptoms of HPV appear or not will vary by strain. The type of genital HPV that causes warts, for example, wont also cause cancerous cells to form. But it is possible to be infected with multiple strains of genital HPV. Your doctor can easily diagnose some strains of HPV with visual observation of your warts. Other, symptom-less strains are tougher to discern. For women, a diagnosis of HPV is made with a Pap smear, an internal swab that is part of a normal check-up, and screens for cervical cancer. Many kinds of genital HPV cause precancerous changes in the cervical cells, prompting an abnormal test result. Following an abnormal result, the swabbed cells will be tested for HPV DNA to confirm the particular strain of the disease. Men, however, are out of luck when it comes to HPV screeningthere are currently no tests available for them. Without any visible warts, men must rely on regular physical examinations by a doctor to spot precancerous cells and growths. Although genital HPV is a commonand often symptom-free STDit can lead to serious health problems. For this reason, regular check-ups and smart sexual practices are vital once a person becomes sexually active.More »
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Curious as to whether or not an STD can turn into something more serious, like cervical cancer? Watch this to find out!
Last Modified: 2013-08-19 | Tags »
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HPV is one of the most common STDs around and Gardisil is here to help. Check out this video to get the dish on Gardasil.
Transcript: Both cervical cancer and genital warts are caused by a sexually transmitted virus called HPV. Today,...
Both cervical cancer and genital warts are caused by a sexually transmitted virus called HPV. Today, there is a vaccine that can protect some from this virus's effects! In 2006, the FDA approved Gardasil, the first vaccine to protect against certain strains of the human papillomavirus, or HPV. Although there are over 100 strains of this virus, only about 40 are harmful. Gardasil protects against four specific strains of HPV, numbers 6 and 11, which cause 90 percent of genital warts cases, and numbers 16 and 18, which can lead to 70 percent of cervical cancers! Gardasil is approved for use in females between the ages of 9 and 26, although-since the virus is passed sexually-it's best to get vaccinated before ever having intercourse. Even if someone already has one strain of HPV, they can still get the vaccine to protect against the strains they don't have. The vaccine is given as a set of three injections over six months. Gardasil is not fully effective until all three shots are given. Side effects may include redness and itching at the injection site, as well as nausea and fever. If you're interested in getting vaccinated with Gardasil, talk to your health care provider!More »
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How does cancer impact the body? Watch this video get details on the effects of cancer.
Transcript: The term "cancer" refers to a group of diseases, which stem from mutations in the body's cells. As the...
The term "cancer" refers to a group of diseases, which stem from mutations in the body's cells. As the abnormal cells grow and spread, cancer can lead to physical symptoms, and, in one of four people, death. Generally, cancer harms a patient in two ways, by physically blocking or pressing on the body's organs, and by reproducing INSTEAD of normal, healthy cells. Of course, every type of cancer is different and leads to a specific set of symptoms and possible consequences. Usually though, symptoms begin locally, at the original site of cell mutation. A person experiencing local cancer symptoms may notice an unusual lump, ulcer, sore, or swelling, which is often due to tumor formation. Bleeding or pain may also accompany the growth. As cancer spreads, other symptoms occur. Because many cancers form in, or spread to the lymph nodes, swelling in this area is very common. Lymph node swelling may be noticed on either side of the neck, in the armpits, around the groin, behind the ears, and on the back of the neck. In addition, unexplained fatigue, fever, or severe weight loss may be signs of cancer, as the disease uses up much of the body's energy supply. The possible effects of cancer are even harder to determine, because every type is distinct, and every person responds to treatment in a different way. When cancer has not yet spread beyond a single tumor, it can still cause pain and illness by pressing against nerves or blocking nearby organs. For example, the presence of a cancerous tumor in the lungs could grow in the airway, obstructing oxygen flow in the body. Once cancer begins metastasis, or the process of spreading, even more serious problems can result. Since cancer cells reproduce at a much faster rate than healthy cells, they can displace, or essentially "take over" for healthy cells in certain areas. This is what happens in patients with leukemia, a type of cancer that begins in the bone marrow, where blood cells are produced. In a healthy person, the bone marrow makes three types of blood cells: White blood cells, which fight infection, red blood cells, which carry oxygen to body tissues, and platelets, which help form clots to control bleeding. People with leukemia begin to make too many white blood cells and stop making enough equally vital red blood cells and platelets. Unfortunately, no matter how exactly it happens, untreated cancer can eventually overrun healthy cells in vital parts of the body thereby leading to death. The good news is that modern medical screening and treatment options have raised the cancer survival rate higher than ever! If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with cancer, talk to your doctor about what to expect and the treatment options that may be right for you.More »
Last Modified: 2014-01-17 | Tags »
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HPV is a common sexually transmitted infection that can lead to serious health problems in men and women if left untreated. Watch this video to learn more about HPV and how to avoid it.
Transcript: The human papillomavirus, or HPV, is an extremely common viral infection. There are about 40 varieties...
The human papillomavirus, or HPV, is an extremely common viral infection. There are about 40 varieties that infect the genitals and which can be passed through sexual contact, even if a person is not exhibiting symptoms. Genital HPV's effects on health can be severe and will vary depending on the HPV strain, and by the strength of the patient's immune system. After a person contracts HPV, his or her body develops some immunity to it. That immune response often squashes symptoms should a person be re-infected, or if the infection lingers. Each strain of HPV has a particular effect on the body. The one that causes genital warts, for example, doesn't cause precancerous lesions. But it IS possible to be infected with multiple strains of genital HPV at the same time. Some strains of the virus don't have an impact in the body. With no symptoms, a person may not even know they have HPV. Other strains produce genital warts, which may appear as a single swelling or a rash. These pink or flesh-colored bumps are usually soft to the touch. Most have a unique cauliflower-like shape that is raised and bumpy. Warts can appear on the thighs, anus and groin area in both men and women. Men can develop them on the penis and scrotum, while women may get warts inside the vagina and cervix. Genital warts are generally harmless.However, more severe health problems will follow from infection with one of the 13 "high risk" strains of genital HPV. These strains cause cell changes in the genital area. If someone contracts high-risk strains repeatedly, or develops a lingering infection, the long-term damage can prompt precancerous or cancerous tumor growths to form. In women, persistent genital HPV infections are a precursor to both cervical and vaginal cancers. In fact, a person cannot contract these cancers unless they've had genital HPV. Cervical cancer starts out as a collection of precancerous cells, a condition called dysplasia. As the cells multiply, mild dysplasia increases in severity. Left unchecked for several years, dysplasia develops into an early form of cancer called cervical carcinoma in situ, and then cervical cancer. A Pap smear can detect even mild dysplasia, which usually can be fully treated...This is just one more reason for women to have an annual Pap smear! In rare cases, prolonged infections in men can also lead to penile cancer. Both men and women are also susceptible to cancers of the anus, mouth and throat as a result of repeated infections with the HPV strains targeting these areas. This means that anal and oral sex aren't without HPV risks. If an HPV infection is caught early, a doctor can begin treatments to prevent precancerous growths from becoming cancerous. Genital HPV has no cure, but its symptoms can be treated. For this reason, it's important to talk to your doctor about safe sex and STD testing.More »
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Over 50 percent of the adult population experience HPV during their lifetime. However, treatment of HPV is simple and effective. Find out more in this video.
Transcript: The human papillomavirus, or HPV, is a common STD which affects more than 50 percent of sexually active...
The human papillomavirus, or HPV, is a common STD which affects more than 50 percent of sexually active Americans at some point in their lifetimes. Different strains of the virus lead to different problems, from uncomfortable genital warts to serious genital cancer. Even more commonly, HPV causes no problems and clears up on its own. Through preventative measures, you can limit your risk for contracting genital HPV. This starts with an understanding that a symptom-free partner isn't necessarily HPV-free. That's why it's important to practice protected sex. A latex condom limits skin-to-skin contact, reducing transmission risk. However, condoms are not 100 percent effective at stopping the spread of HPV. Some strains can be passed by contact between parts that would not be protected by a condom. One extremely effective preventative measure, which is only available for women and girls between the ages of nine and 26, is vaccination with Gardasil. This three-part vaccine protects against infection from HPV strains that cause genital warts, cervical cancer, and anal cancer. If a person DOES contract genital HPV, the virus cannot be cured, but the SYMPTOMS often can. Some strains of HPV cause no symptoms and require no treatment, while others need a doctor's care. Genital warts are the most visible symptom of HPV and generally require prescription medication. Applied daily, creams like Condylox and Aldara boost the immune system to help fight off the virus and eliminate the warts. A doctor may also remove warts via an in-office procedure. Freezing with liquid nitrogen, burning with trichloracetic acid or electrical currents, and surgical removal with a scalpel or laser are all relatively painless options. Of these, surgical excision is often the most effective, usually requiring just one in-office treatment. Regular doctor's visits are a must for the effective treatment of high-risk genital HPV strains, which cause precancerous and cancerous growths. Treatment is more effective if the virus is caught early. For women, this means undergoing an annual Pap smear, a test which screens for cervical cancer. HPV can cause cell changes in the cervix, which show up as an abnormal result on this test. There are no screening tests for men, however regular physical examinations can lead to early diagnosis of penile cancer. Following an abnormal Pap smear or visual confirmation of a tumor, a doctor aims to remove the abnormal cells affected by genital HPV BEFORE they become cancerous. How a doctor removes the abnormal cells varies. She may freeze the cells with liquid nitrogen, excise them with an electrical current, or perform a biopsy, where the cells are removed during surgery. On occasion, precancerous cell changes can heal without treatment, so some doctors may opt to watch and wait for a time before attempting to remove the cells. If you're infected with HPV, you are part of the majority! Luckily, treatments are available to help with HPV's range of symptoms, so talk to your doctor about your choices.More »
Last Modified: 2013-04-25 | Tags »
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