Cervical Cancer Screening (HPV)
HPV (Human Paillomavirus)
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the most common causes of sexually transmitted disease (STD) in the world. It is estimated that 80% of women are exposed in their lifetime. HPV infection is the primary risk factor for cervical cancer. Although HPV is very common, only a small percentage of women with HPV infections will develop cervical cancer. A pelvic exam, pap smear and HPV test can help determine if you have been exposed to HPV or are at risk for HPV related diseases
Genital warts (condylomata acuminata) are the most easily recognized sign of genital HPV infection. Many people, however, have a genital HPV infection without genital warts.
A Pap smear is an important part of a woman’s routine care because it can detect abnormalities that may lead to cancer of the cervix. In a pap test, a sample of cells is taken from the cervix and sent to a lab for examination. If damage to the cells is detected, the Pap test is considered abnormal. There is a range of abnormalities ranging from minor to pre-cancerous lesions. If abnormalities are found, further evaluation will be needed.
A colposcopy is a diagnostic procedure performed using a magnifying device called a colposcope. It shines a light into the vagina and cervix and gives an enlarged view of this region. It allows the physician to visually distinguish normal from abnormal tissue and take directed biopsies for further examination.
LEEP (Loop Electrical Excision Procedure)
The LEEP procedure uses an electrical current that passes through a thin wire loop. The loop is used to “scoop out” the abnormal tissue. The electrical current seals the blood vessels which minimizes bleeding. The procedure usually only requires a local anesthetic. It can be performed at our office and takes about 20 minutes.
Prevention of HPV
The FDA has approved two Vaccines Gardasil and Cervarix for the prevention of HPV infection. There are over 100 related types of HPV viruses. The vaccines have proven effective against several of the most common cancer-causing types of the virus but do not prevent against all strains. The FDA approved Gardasil for use in females ages 9 to 26. The vaccines are not effective against existing infections, so it is recommended that it be given to individuals before they become sexually active.
For More information www.gardasil.com
For More Information On HPV and Cervical Cancer