HPV and cancer


Q: My girlfriend and I became sexually active 1 month ago. 2 weeks ago she had a biopsy done for some pre-cancerous cell found diring a pap. It turns out they were caused from a mild case of HPV. Should I be concerned at all?


A:   Human papillomavirus (HPV) can cause genital warts, cancer of the cervix, and various cancers of the vulva or vagina. HPV vaccine (Gardasil) is used to prevent genital warts and cervical/vaginal cancers caused by certain types of HPV (types 6, 11, 16, and 18) in girls and young women. HPV vaccine is given as an injection (shot) into a muscle in your upper arm or thigh, in a series of 3 shots. You may have the first shot at any time as long as you are between the ages of 9 and 26 years old. Then you will need to receive a second dose 2 months after your first shot, and a third dose 6 months after your first shot. You may receive this vaccine even if you have already had genital warts, or had a positive HPV test or abnormal Pap smear in the past. However, this vaccine will not treat active genital warts or HPV-related cancers, and it will not cure HPV infection.

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