HPV & Cancer: All You Should Know￼
HPV, or the Human Papillomavirus, is the most common sexually transmitted infection. It is estimated that up to 75% of sexually active adults will have an HPV infection. There are more than 100 types of HPV, which can be broadly classified into low-risk and high-risk types. The low-risk types are associated with genital warts while the high-risk type is associated with cancers.
How is it transmitted?
HPV can be transmitted by oral, vaginal, and anal sex with an infected partner. It can also be transmitted by intimate skin-to-skin contact of the genitals.
How is HPV associated with cancer?
Most people with HPV infections do not develop cancers. However, a small proportion of those infected with the high-risk type (the most common being types 16 and 18) will go on to develop cancers. The most common cancer associated with HPV is cervical cancer in women.
HPV infections are also associated with penile, anal, and throat cancers in men, particularly men who have sex with men. As such, it is important to get vaccinated against HPV as it can prevent the development of cancers associated with HPV.
The HPV vaccination is a vaccine that protects against the most common types
of HPV infection, namely types 6,11, 16, and 18. The vaccination is most effective when administered before becoming sexually active. ManaDr @ City Gate provides Gardasil-9 which consists of 3 doses/
WHAT IS A PAP SMEAR?
Pap smear, or the Papanicolaou smear, is a screening test for cervical cancer. The test is done by a trained healthcare professional and involves taking a small sample of the cervix during a vaginal examination. The procedure is very quick and should not be painful. An initial test should be performed once a woman is sexually active. Subsequent Pap smear screening should be done at least once every 3 years thereafter.
About the Author
Dr. Pereira studied at the National University of Singapore on a SingHealth Undergraduate Medicine Scholarship and graduated with their MBBS in 2018. They subsequently completed their MRCP (UK) and M.Med (Int Med) in 2021. Prior to joining ManaDr, they were part of the Singhealth Internal Medicine Programme. As part of their training, they rotated through and gained diverse experiences in various medical subspecialties. Their main area of interests are in sexual health as well as gender affirming care. Dr. Pereira strongly believes in providing inclusive and evidence based care to their patients.