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Sexually active? You need to know about this Silent Virus – HPV

Contrary to what a majority of people believe, they do not know everything about the risks of unprotected intercourse. Take for instance, Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). HPV is essentially a DNA virus.

Why is it dangerous? Not only does HPV not show any external/physical symptoms, many types of HPV are known to cause approximately 70% of cervical cancers. [Here’s what you can do to prevent cervical cancer]

What’s even worse is that the HPV is more common in women.

Read Vandana’s story on how she found out about her cervical cancer during an annual health check up.

Also, here’s a list of celebrities who’ve struggled with cervical cancer.

According to a famous oncologist,

The easiest way to get the virus is by having vaginal or anal intercourse with someone who has the virus.

Unfortunately, the human papilloma virus can also be contracted through a simple skin-to-skin contact including handshakes or hugs. Even a small cut on the outer layer of the body can act as a gateway from where the virus can enter. A baby can also contract the virus from the mother through pregnancy, and even breastfeeding.

Here’s where it gets tricky. Since the infected person may not even show any signs or symptoms of the HPV, there’s no way to know whether he has HPV or not. If symptoms do show up, they manifest into protrusions on the skin called warts. They can be present on the genitals or the skin around it.

Although there’s no cure for the virus, warts are treatable. A vaccine has been introduced that claims to prevent HPV.

Watch Dr. Rupinder Sekhon, Senior consultant Gynecology Oncology, Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute and Research Centre, talk about early detection for cervical cancer.

Screening tests for Men

At present, no HPV tests are available for men. The approved vaccine present in the market is only for women.

Screening Tests for Cervical Cancer for Women

There are two tests for Screening of Cervical Cancer:

  1. Pap Test: This test, also known as Pap Smear, detects Pre-cancers & Cancerous Cells and other abnormal cell changes in the Cervix. The procedure involves taking a sample of cells from the Cervix, and sending them to the laboratory for analysis.
  2. HPV Test: This test helps in detecting DNA or RNA from high-risk HPV Types in Cervical Cells.

Read the complete on When to go for Cervical Cancer Screening.

Check out a list of  6 common STDs that are more common than you think.

Credihealth – India’s No.1 Medical Assistance company

This write-up was contributed by Credihealth content team:

Credihealth is a medical assistance company that gives guidance to a patient from the first consultation through the entire hospitalization process. A team of in-house Credihealth doctors helps the patient find the right doctor, book appointment, request cost estimate for procedures and manage admission & discharge processes.

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