There are more than 100 types of cancer. Among these cancers, there is a type that we can protect directly from; cervical cancer. The only action to be taken to prevent this cancer is to be vaccinated! Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), which causes cervical cancer, is sexually transmitted, progresses insidiously for years and gives symptoms in the late period. Early diagnosis is possible with some screening tests.
HPV is a virus that causes warts on the skin in men and women with more than 200 types, and some types can cause many cancers, especially cervical cancer. Cervical cancer, which is the 4th most common cancer among women all over the world, affects more than 500.000 women every year. Acıbadem Ankara Hospital Gynecology and Obstetrics Specialist Assoc. Dr. Emre Özgü ”Every September, various studies are carried out to raise social awareness about gynecological cancers. Common types of cancer in women, such as the uterus, ovaries, and cervix, and ways to prevent it are explained. Among these cancers, cervical cancer draws attention as the only cancer that women can be protected from. According to studies, more than 80% of women are exposed to the HPV virus at some point in their lives. However, 80 percent of women exposed to HPV get rid of the virus within 1 year, and 90 percent within 2 years, thanks to their immune systems. The virus, which cannot be cleared from the body, can start to make changes in the cervix without any symptoms and eventually lead to cervical cancer.
Appears with warts
Stating that warts that appear as raised lesions in the genital area may be a sign of HPV infection, Dr. Emre Özgü continued his words as follows: “The probability of HPV types that cause warts to cause cervical cancer is very low. HPV infection, which causes cervical cancer, may not usually cause symptoms. Unfortunately, when symptoms such as bleeding during sexual intercourse, intense groin pain or foul-smelling bloody vaginal discharge occur, the disease unfortunately means that it has progressed.
HPV does not mean cancer
“Patients with HPV infection are not considered to have cancer. It will only be proven that they carry the HPV virus in their bodies,” said Dr. Emre Özgü said, “After this stage, after the evaluations to determine what kind of changes the HPV type causes in the cervix, a follow-up and treatment plan should be created and the disease should be cleared from the body before it reaches the cancer stage.”
“We have powerful weapons against the disease”
“We have two powerful weapons against the virus-induced and deadly HPV disease. The first of these is HPV and Smear tests used for cervical cancer screening. Thanks to these tests, changes in the cervix that have not yet turned into cancer can be detected at an early stage and patients can be treated without cancer. Dr. Emre Özgü said, “For this reason, it is one of our most important weapons against cervical cancer that women do not delay their gynecological examinations and smear tests. Our second weapon is the vaccine developed against HPV. Vaccines provide protection against HPV types 70 and 90, which are responsible for 16 to 18 percent of cervical cancer, as well as HPV Types 6 and 11, the cause of warts, which is the most common symptom.
9-15 years of age should be vaccinated
Emphasizing the importance of the vaccine, Emre Özgü concluded his words as follows: “HPV is the most important cause of cervical cancer, a deadly cancer that is frequently observed in women. However, it draws attention as the only type of cancer that can be prevented by vaccination, since its development can be prevented thanks to the current vaccine. The ideal age for vaccination is between 9-15, girls and boys who have not yet been sexually active. It is possible for women outside this age group to be vaccinated until the age of 45 and men until the age of 25. Thanks to the HPV vaccine, which is in the vaccination program of more than 70 countries, the incidence of cervical cancer development is more than 90 percent.
aimed to be reduced. The main goal for the future is to ensure that, thanks to regular follow-up and effective vaccination, cervical cancer is not only the only cancer with a vaccine, but also the only cancer that has been eradicated by vaccination.