HPV infection causes Cervical Cancer. There are more than 100 types of HPV. Some types produce warts – plantar warts on the feet and common hand warts. About 40 types of HPV can infect the genital area – the vulva, vagina, cervix, rectum, anus, penis, or scrotum. Human papillomavirus is the most prevalent sexually transmitted infection in the world, occurring at some point in up to 75% of sexually active women.
Around 30 HPV types are transmitted through sexual contact, including the high risk implicated in cervical cancer. An increase in the incidence of genital Human papillomavirus infection occurs when individuals begin to engage in sexual activity.
Genital HPV infections are very common. HPV is so common that about half of all men and more than 3 out of 4 women have HPV at some point in their lives. High-risk types of genital HPV can cause cancer of the cervix, vagina, vulva, anus, penis, and throat. The type of cancer HPV causes most often is cervical cancer. Most HPV infections go away by themselves and don’t cause cancer. But abnormal cells can develop when high-risk types of HPV don’t go away. If these abnormal cells are not detected and treated, they can lead to cancer.
Cervical cancer is probably one of the best known examples of how infection with a virus can lead to cancer. In the early stages, virus-infected cervical cells may show only small changes in size and shape when examined microscopically. With time, however, not only do the cells expand and become more distorted, but their neat arrangement in rows or columns on the surface of the cervix is destroyed. These changes are consistent with those of cervical dysplasia, or cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) of varying degrees of severity, as seen by the pathologist when examining a biopsy specimen of cervical tissue. Left untreated, in some women these premalignant cells will slowly replace the normal cells on the surface of the cervix and carcinoma in situ will develop. Finally, when the cells begin to grow through the normal surface layer into the muscle and deeper tissues, full-blown cancer is present.
Risk Factor (possibility)
Women who have problems with their immune system are at increased risk of cervical cancer, especially if they have been exposed to HPV. Factors that affect your immune system and can increase your risk of cancer of the cervix are:
- Sexual activity (< 20 years)
- Chronic corticosteroid use (asthma and lupus)
- Multiple sexual partners
Article Source - www.cancer.gov