HPV (human papillomavirus) affects more than three million Americans annually. Board certified OB/GYN Dr. Randall J. Burt, located in Plano, Texas, offers treatment and ongoing monitoring for women who are HPV positive. Being proactive is every woman's best defense in preventing the progression of this disease. Call Dr. Burt to schedule an HPV consultation.
Human papillomavirus (HPV), is a group of over 150 viruses that can cause many different diseases, including warts and cancers. Because HPVs are attracted to the cells found on the surface of the skin in moist areas, such infections are commonly found in the vagina, cervix, and vulva. One form of HPV can cause cervical and vaginal cancers.
HPV is transmitted via skin-to-skin contact with an infected person. This includes anal, oral, or vaginal sex. Often, people who have HPV don’t experience symptoms, and therefore easily and unknowingly pass it to their partners.
Many individuals who have HPV are asymptomatic, which is why it's so easily spread. However, others suffer genital warts after getting infected. If the body's immune system isn't able to clear the HPV infection and it becomes chronic, it can cause cellular changes that lead to cancer.
The Pap smear test tests cervical cells for cellular abnormalities, which HPV can cause. The HPV test checks for the virus itself, not the cell changes. It can be done at the same time as the Pap smear, but is a separate test.
Because HPV often causes no symptoms, Dr. Burt recommends that all women who are at risk for an infection get regular HPV testing and screening. You should get an HPV test if you:
Women who are over the age of 30 should get an HPV test and a Pap smear every five years, according to the American Cancer Society. Women who have abnormal test results on one of these tests may need more frequent screenings. Women who are under the age of 30 only need the Pap smear every three years unless they have an abnormal result.
If you're due for you an HPV test or have questions about HPV testing, call Dr. Burt’s office.