Sunday, December 18, 2011

virus HPV

The human papillomavirus (HPV) is considered as a major health threat for woman worldwide . The majority of  cervical  cancer cases , by far , are thought to result from chronic infection with certain strains of HPV .The virus can be hidden for years from a woman’s immune system with on apparent symptoms  ,then awaken and cerate the deadly disease . This is called shy virus that puzzled scientists for many years . In 1983 , Dr. Harald  zur Hausen  of Germany discovered the association of HPV with cervical cancer for which he was awarded the Nobel prize in Medicine in 2008 .    

HPV infects predominantly the cervix (lower part of uterus ) and also can affect vagina and anus . although it causes cancer in woman ,it can lead cancers of the anus and penis in men . It can also infect the mouth and throat . Over 100 different types  of HPV have been identified so far .Some HPV  types cause warts , but do not cause cancer, whereas , other types cause cancer, but do not cause warts. However , the majorities of viruses are considered harmless and have no symptoms . Most infected individuals do not know that they are infected and are passing the virus on to their sex partner. Very rarely , a pregnant woman with genital HPV can pass HPV to her during delivery.       

About 40 types of HPV are typically transmitted through sexual contact. Persistent infection with high ,risk HPV types (HPV  -16,18,31,33  etc.)different from the ones that cause warts ,may progress to pre-cancerous lesions and invasive cancer .           

Most   HPV  infections in young females are temporary , 70 per cent of infections are gone in one year and 90 per cent in two years. But when infection persists , 5-10 percent of infected woman develop pre –cancer ,which can eventually progress to invasive cervical cancer . This process usually takes 15-20 years ,providing    opportunities for detection and potential treatment with high cure rates .There  are several  ways that one can lower the chances of getting HPV , practice of safer sex , faithful relationship and vaccines .                                                                                    

Visual inspection using acetic Acid (VIA)and   pap test  are used to  detect abnormal cells which may develop into cancer .A cervical examination also detects warts and cancerous areas can be removed with a simple procedure ,typically with a cauterizing loop or cry therapy.  New HPV DNA tests are now available that is more sensitive than pap or visual inspection.       

Cervical cancer screening has reduced the incidence and fatalities in the developed world , whereas , substantial death tolls are still associated with HVP infections in the  developing countries like Bangladesh  where the cancer ranked number one among cancers that affect females.

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