The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is a group of over 100 viruses, around 40 of which are sexually transmitted and 14 carry a high risk for cancer. The virus has been identified as a major cause of cervical cancer in women, and anal and oral cancers in both men and women.
Low risk HPV viral types are identified as the main cause of genital warts, but these are not the same types that can cause cancer. Sexually transmitted HPVs fall into two categories. Low-risk types do not cause cancer but can cause skin warts on or around the genitals or anus. For example, HPV types 6 and 11 cause 90% of genital warts.
High-risk types of HPV, however, can cause conditions which may lead to cancer. Several high-risk HPV types have been identified. Two of these, HPV types 16 and 18, are responsible for the majority of HPV-related cancers.
Women are advised to have regular HPV testing. Men need to have a visible lesion to provide a sample.
Did You Know:
In 2017, there were almost 285,000 new cases of cervical cancer in Asia. Read more.
How is HPV transmitted?
HPV is transferred through sexual contact (skin to skin) with an infected individual. This includes vaginal, anal or oral sex, although intercourse does not need to take place.
How will I know if I have HPV?
Most high risk HPVs do not cause any symptoms in the early stages. It is important to get tested regularly so that your health can be checked. Cancer treatment is more effective the earlier that a cancer is identified.
Genital warts are small red or pink bumps in the genital area. They often take the form of small red or pink growths that often look like raspberries or cauliflowers if they grow large.
What tests are available for HPV, including Genital Warts?
With Better2Know you can choose your test. For women who are concerned about their cervical health we suggest you choose HPV and a PAP smear, which will require a swab sample from your cervix. This test looks for changes in the lining of the cervix as well as for any HPV's that may cause concern in the future.
If you are concerned about a particular lump or blemish, we can provide a swab test to find out what it is. If you are not sure which test to go for, we suggest our Blemish screen, which also includes Syphilis and Herpes.
How is the infection treated?
If you test positive for HPV, even if it is a high-risk type, it does not mean that you will go on to develop cancer. If you test detects an HPV, you will be referred to a specialist who will be able to recommend follow up tests and advise you on the most appropriate treatment for you.
If your cervical test highlights any cell abnormalities, you should be offered more frequent (usually annual) PAP Smears to monitor any changes to cells. Your doctor will be able to advise you on the best frequency for you.
If you have a confirmed genital wart, this can be removed (usually through cryotherapy, which involves freezing the infected cells). Large warts may need more than one session to remove them. You may get recurrent outbreaks which will need to be treated. There are also creams that can be prescribed to help remove warts, reduce their symptoms and even prevent their reoccurrence.
How can I book my test with Better2Know?
To book your HPV test with Better2Know today, please contact our expert Patient Services team on the number displayed above. Alternatively, you can book online at any time using the Book Now button at the top of the page.