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In The Know: Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and Cervical Cancer

In The Know: Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and Cervical Cancer

Cancer starts when cells in the body begin to grow out of control. Cells in nearly any part of the body can become cancer, and spread to other areas of the body. Cervical cancer starts in the cells lining the cervix, which is the lower part of the uterus. The cervix connects the body of the uterus to the vagina. This particular connection point is called the transformation zone.

Nita Lee, M.D.

This is where the endocervix, the part of the cervix closest to the body of the uterus and the exocervix, the part next to the vagina, meet.  Most cervical cancers begin in the cells in the transformation zone.

Risk Factors

Infection by the human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most important risk factor for cervical cancer.  Here are some important facts about HPV.

  • HPV can infect cells on the surface of the skin, and those lining the genitals, anus, mouth and throat, but not the blood or internal organs such as the heart or lungs.
  • HPV can spread from one person to another during skin-to-skin contact. One way HPV spreads is through sexual activity, including vaginal, anal, and even oral sex.
  • Different types of HPV cause warts on different parts of the body. Some cause common warts on the hands and feet; others tend to cause warts on the lips or tongue.

Infection with HPV is common, and in most people the body can clear the infection by itself.  Although there is currently no cure for HPV infection, there are ways to treat the abnormal cell growth that HPV causes.

 

Join Us for a Free Lecture!

If you would like more information on this current topic, please join us on Jan. 29th, as gynecologic oncologist Dr. Nita Lee presents a free lecture on Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and Cervical Cancer at Silver Cross Hospital.  Click HERE to register for this FREE event.

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