Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus that can be transmitted through sexual contact. If transmitted through sexual contact it can cause genital warts, abnormal cells or cervical cancer. This virus does not usually present with symptoms and most women find out they have HPV when they have their yearly annual pelvic exam. HPV usually is self-limiting and a women’s immune system will often heal the infection. However there are certain strains of HPV genotypes called 16 and 18, along with 12 other genotypes (31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 56, 58, 59, 66 and 68) that are at a higher risk to develop into cervical cancer. HPV genotypes 16 and 18 are responsible for over 70 percent of the HPV cases that turn into cervical cancer.
In April 2011 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the cobas HPV test. The approval was based on the ATHENA study, which had over 47,000 participants. ATHENA found that 10 percent of women who tested positive for HPV and also had normal Pap smears actually had pre-cancerous cells in the cervix. The test can identify women at the highest risk of developing cervical cancer by identifying those HPV genotypes (16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 56, 58, 59, 66 and 68) that are the most likely to become abnormal cells or cervical cancer at the early stages. The FDA believes that the cobas HPV test will help doctors make better care decisions for patients. The benefit for patients is that they can become more educated about treatments and they can change their behaviors to help the healing process.
There are four conventional medical treatments for HPV and there are some naturopathic treatments as well. We will discuss them in my next article.
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Dr. Dae's Bio:
“Dr. Dae" (pronounced Dr. Day) Daemon Jones is a Naturopathic Physician who treats the whole person using safe and effective combinations of traditional and natural methods to produce optimal health and well-being in the lives of her patients.