The Cancer down there

By on November 21, 2018
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The constantly mutating HPV virus is responsible for cervical cancer, and teenagers are at high risk. Here’s how to stay safe

Human Papillora Virus (HPV) has now been proven beyond doubt as the virus that causes cervical cancers.It affects the ever-proliferating cells at the transitional zone on a woman’s cervix and can eventually lead to cervical cancer, which is the most common cancer among women.

The appropriate time for vaccinating a girl is between 10 and 14 years, and definitely by 19 years, although vaccinating older women is also an option.

The problem with HPV is that it can exist in both boys and girls, is active for a long period of time, and can hibernate and infect sexual partners through regular intercourse, as well as oral sex.

Most often, a person infected with HPV shows no signs and symptoms, although some will develop genital warts. Rarely, an initial infection may result in flu-like symptoms that resolve spontaneously in a couple of days.

Viruses are of different types, RNA and DNA viruses. The HPV is a DNA virus; of which at least over 150 types are known. More than a few dozen are transmitted through sexual contacts. Risk factors are a persistent cutaneous (skin) contact, with vaginal intercourse being the most common mode of transmission. Post transmission, there are no symptoms or signs at all in almost 70 per cent boys and girls.

Some will develop mild rash and a few get genital warts. Further, the virus is responsible for the development of pre-cancerous and cancerous lesions of the cervix, vagina, penis, anus, mouth and throat. The virus has also been isolated from the lesions of lung cancer in males.

Factors that increase susceptibility to HPV include smoking, drug addictions, multiple sexual partners and compromised immune system, such as diabetes, renal disease, tuberculosis or HIV.

Read the full article in 'Viva Goa' magazine copy.

Viva Goa magazine is now on stands. Available at all major book stalls and supermarkets in Goa.


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