I’m sure you’ve heard of HPV, short for Human Papillomavirus. You just toss it in the category of STD’s and hope you don’t contract it, but there is much to learn about this certain virus. Did you know that HPV is actually a group of over 150 related viruses that can have symptoms ranging from mild genital warts to cancer? Also, around 80% of sexually active people will contract some strain of HPV sometime in their lives. Yeah, seriously.
Cervical cancer is what most of you all think when you hear about HPV’s ability to generate the big C. And that’s a good thing to know – almost all cervical cancers are caused by HPV. The science behind Human Papillomavirus is still under research, but recent breakthroughs have shed light on the link between HPV and cancer. It seems that HPV can rearrange host-cells in your DNA which in turn creates a better opportunity for cancer to take hold.
All this science seems like scary stuff, but don’t be afraid! Using protection like condoms, getting routine cervical cancer screenings and even getting an easy vaccine are great preventatives. Males and Females alike, don’t brush off HPV, prevent it today. [Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center]34