Knowledge Center
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HPV and cervical cancer

Cervical cancer is caused by HPV

Cervical cancer is the second most common type of cancer in females both in the world. Cervical cancer is asymptomatic in most cases, causing pain only in its advanced stage. Nearly all cases of cervical cancer are caused by one of the most common sexually transmitted disease, the human papilloma virus (HPV).
HPV might induce such transformations inside human cells that lead to cancerous stages. Most of the times the immune system conquers the infection, although in some cases the virus can remain. Cancer develops in people who have been infected with the same type of HPV for a long time. If an HPV infection is diagnosed, you need not be scared, but it needs to be constantly monitored.

Several years may pass after the original infection before normal cervical cells are transformed into cancerous ones. HPV infection and pre-cancerous changes, when diagnosed in time, can be treated, and cervical cancer is a curable disease.

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What sort of problems can HPV cause in women?

There are almost 100 known types of HPV, of which 14 are risk factors for cervical cancer. Types are marked with numbers, in order of their discovery (eg. HPV 16). They are classified by risk type into 3 groups: high-risk (HR), low-risk (LR) and non-classified (NA).

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High-risk does not mean that people infected will automatically develop cervical cancer. It means that these types of HPV, such as HPV 16 and 18 are recognized to cause cervical cancer. Nearly 70 percent of cervical cancer cases are caused by HPV types 16 and 18, while the rest of the high-risk types are responsible for the remaining 30 percent.

Infection with low-risk types can lead to the development of genital warts, the so called condylomas. HPV 6 and 11 cause 90 percent of genital warts.

The role of non-classified types in the development of cervical cancer is unknown. Based on current research the risk of these types is statistically minimal.

Download the full version of our “HPV and cervical cancer” patient brochure.