Cancer is a nearly universal health concern in our lives; it would be difficult to find anyone whose life has not been touched by the disease, in all its various and horrifying forms. This year alone, the American Cancer Society reports that 1.6 million people in the U.S. will develop cancer, and nearly 600,000 will die from it.[i] HPV, or the human papillomavirus, causes an estimated 19,000 of those cases in women, and just under half that in men.[ii] HPV is a common disease transmitted through sexual contact, which is usually known for causing genital warts and, once contracted, is incurable.[iii] HPV is best-known for causing cervical cancer, but it is also associated with cancer in the head, neck, anus, and genitals of both sexes. But though it cannot be cured once contracted, the variant of the disease which leads to cancer can very easily and effectively be prevented by readily available vaccines.
What is Cervical Cancer?
Cervical cancer tends to develop slowly inside the surface cells of the cervix. The cervix has two types of surface cells known as squamous and columnar. Squamous cells are where the majority of cervical cancers originate.
Cervical cancer is caused overwhelmingly by HPV(Human PapilIomavirus). HPV is a commonly spread STD, taking various different forms and causing diverse effects for those afflicted. Some forms of HPV lead to cervical cancer and genital warts, other varieties of the illness prove to be harmless.
Sex education isn’t just for high school health class anymore. There are a surprising number of adults who know very little about their sexual health. Just because we are old enough to know better, doesn’t always mean that we do. Check out the following tips to keep your sexual life healthy and safe.
1. The Truth about HPV
Genital human papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the sexually transmitted infections (STIs) that is getting the most attention these days, probably due to the fact that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tells us that it is the most common STI and almost all sexually active men and women will get it at some point in their lives. Here are some facts to help you learn all you need to know about this STI:
● HPV is spread through skin to skin contact, often during vaginal and anal sex, but it can also be spread during genital to genital contact or oral sex. This means you can be a virgin and still contract HPV.
● There are 40 different types of HPV. Ninety percent (90%) of HPV infections go away on their own within 2 years, but others can go on to cause more serious conditions such as genital warts or cervical cancer.
● There is an HPV screening for women, but unfortunately not for men. Men and women aged 26 and under can get a vaccine that will help to protect against contracting this STI.