Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common type of STD in America, affecting an estimated 79 million. At Deer Valley OB/GYN in Phoenix, Victor Kissil, DO, offers HPV screening, treatment, and vaccination. If you’re concerned about the risks that HPV poses to your health and wellness, schedule an appointment today to learn how to protect yourself or treat an HPV infection. You can book a visit online or by phone.
Human papillomavirus is not a single disease, but a collection of more than 100 related viruses. Only a portion of those viruses lead to health problems, and your body can effectively fight off many HPV infections.
However, the types of HPV that create symptoms can create a range of health issues, some of which are more troubling than others. HPV viruses are responsible for the following:
HPV is the most common cause of cervical cancer, a serious health condition that can be life-threatening if left untreated. The virus can also cause cancers of the anus, vagina, vulva, penis, and throat.
One of the reasons HPV is such a serious public health concern is because the virus spreads from simple skin-to-skin contact. Any type of sexual contact can lead to transmission, and it is virtually impossible to fully protect yourself against the disease. In fact, the strains of HPV that cause warts are transmitted simply by coming into contact with an item that recently touched someone else’s wart.
Preventing HPV begins by getting screened for the virus and limiting your number of sexual partners. Being in a mutually monogamous relationship where both partners are screened drastically reduces your risk of contracting HPV.
Vaccination is another key element of preventing an HPV infection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all children be vaccinated at age 11 or 12, prior to their first sexual contact. Older teens and adults can also benefit from vaccination.
While there is no cure for human papillomavirus, there are treatments that help manage symptoms. Your treatment path depends on the type of HPV you have and the symptoms brought on by the infection.
Medications help remove warts, and there are formulations for various areas of your body. It’s possible to remove warts by freezing or burning the tissue. Laser and surgical removal is also an option.
If an HPV infection causes cervical cancer, Dr. Kissil advises you on the best treatment path. There are various tools available to fight cervical cancer, and the right approach depends on the stage of your cancer, your overall health, and your plans for future pregnancy. Dr. Kissil advises you on your next steps and helps you find a cancer treatment specialist if needed.
To learn more about HPV screening, vaccination, and treatment, schedule a visit with Dr. Kissil today. You are welcome to try the simple online scheduling tool or call the office to check appointment availability.