HPV AT A GLANCE

HOW DOES HPV CAUSE CANCER?

  • High-risk HPV lingers and infects the cells of the vulva, cervix, vagina, penis, or anus

  • Prolonged infection can cause cellular changes called pre-cancers, which can develop into cancer if not appropriately monitored and removed

  • The infection often takes between 10 and 30 years to form cancerous tumors

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HPV & CANCER

​You can contract HPV through genital to skin contact during sex (vaginal, oral, or anal).

  • HPV can lead to many types of cancer:

    • Cervical, vaginal, vulvar

    • Oropharyngeal (mouth/throat)

    • Penile

    • Rectal/anal

HPV is associated with 90% of anal and cervical cancers, about 70% of vaginal and vulvar cancers, and more than 60% of penile cancers​ HPV infects the squamous cells that line the inner surfaces of organs. For this reason, most HPV-related cancers are a type of cancer called squamous cell carcinoma. Most cases and most deaths from HPV related cancers occur in low and middle income regions.

WHAT IS HPV?

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a common group virus with more than 200 different strains that infects the skin and mucous membranes, often causing growths to form. 

  • More than 80% of sexually active people will be affected in their lifetime

  • 80-90% of cases clear from the body without medical intervention

  • Most cases present no symptoms but there are high risk types of HPV

    • Carcinogenic: 16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 56, 58, 59, 68

    • Possibly carcinogenic: 26, 30, 34, 53, 66, 67, 69, 70, 73, 82, 85, 97

    • Types 6 and 11 cause genital warts and papillomatosis (benign tumors that form on the mouth, throat, and breathing passages) 

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