Are Genital Warts Linked to Cervical Cancer?
Before we talk about genital warts, there is a question "Are Genital Warts Linked to Cervical Cancer?". Genital warts, one of the most prevalent sexually transmitted infections in the world today, is caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). There are more than 100 known strains of HPV and 30 of these can cause genital warts. These types are known as genital HPV which have infected approximately 20 million people in the country.
Genital warts vary in size and appearance. Some of them are so small, and they can hardly be seen; others appear as obtrusive bumps that grow larger with time. Some warts occur singularly or in groups that form cauliflower-like clusters.
Warts develop around and within the vagina, cervix, and anus in women. In men, they grow around the penis, scrotum and anus area. There are cases when persons who have engaged in oral sex with infected partners also developed warts in their mouth and oral cavity.
Can Genital Warts Lead to Cervical Cancer?
The lack of adequate information has led to the spread of this myth like wildfire and has caused a lot of frayed nerves and sleepless nights. It is time to put this question to rest.
Although genital warts are considered as abnormal tissue growths, the truth is that they are by and large benign. In most cases, they do not result in cancer nor do they make a person susceptible to cancer.
What the Experts Say
According to Dr. Katherine Stone, an American Social Health Association’s HPV Scientific Advisory Committee member, genital warts need not be a cause for alarm with regards to cancer. The “high-risk” types of HPV, those strongly linked to cancer, are, namely, 16, 18, 31 and 45. They are called “high-risk” not because they give rise to cancer; it is because, if cancer does develop (which is infrequently), it can usually be retraced to one of them. Still, it is emphasized that most women will not contract cervical cancer, even those who have high-risk HPV types on their cervix.
What about the “low-risk” genital warts? Another type of HPV causes These warts. Dr. Doug Lowy, chief of the Laboratory of Cellular Oncology at the National Cancer Institute said, ”These are caused by HPV types that are virtually never found in cancer." The “low-risk” types that cause genital warts include 6, 11, 42, 43, and 44. These types have no association with the “high-risk” strains that bring about cervical cancer.
Lowering the Risk
It is safe to say that a man infected with “low-risk” genital warts is likely to transmit “high-risk” cancer-inducing HPV to his partner. However, medical experts advise regular Pap smears for sexually active women who were exposed to genital warts. The purpose is to determine if she might also have contracted “high-risk” HPV in one of her sexual escapades.
Using a condom lessens the chance of getting genital warts, but they cannot provide total protection. Since direct skin-to-skin contact transmits HPV, some areas of the genitals and anus may be exposed to infection. Only the area covered by the condom is protected.
If you are suspected you have contracted HPV, you must abstain from any form of sexual activity to prevent others from being exposed to infection. Visit your doctor for immediate treatment and stop the virus from spreading. Hope done the question of Are Genital Warts Linked to Cervical Cancer? above.