HPV Test - Cervical Cancer

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What is Cervical Cancer?
Cervix is a structure that enables keeping of a baby in the course of pregnancy in the uterus and gets opened to enable passing of the baby during the delivery.
The cervical cancer that occurs as a result of abnormal and uncontrolled reproduction of cervical cells is the most frequent cancer after the breast cancer among women.
What is the reason for Cervical Cancer?
Many risk factors triggering development of the cervical cancer such as sexual relationship started at early ages (before 20), a large number of sexual partners, polygamy life style of the partner, high parity (a high number of births), poor hygiene, low socioeconomic level, cervical cancer in the immediate family, smoking, malnutrition (A, C vitamins, beta carotene and folic acid deficiencies), use of birth control pills for a long time have been determined. However, the recent epidemiologic researches have shown the HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) infection as the major risk factor. In addition, it has been detected that HPV also has an important place in development of the cancers of anal zone, oropharyngeal zone (tissues such as throat, soft palate, tongue base and tonsils), vagina, vulva and penis.    
Cervical Cancer & HPV
More than 200 types of HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) have been detected and some types carry risk in terms of cancer. The HPV infects the skin and mucosa. Frequently progresses by giving no clinical finding (asymptomatic). After contact with the virus, a 9-12 month latent period passes. It first appears from skin as swollen and painless acne (wart, papilloma). The lesions are single or group soft, broccoli-like and are painless. In those whose immunity is high, the lesions go back in 12-24 months. The clinical findings vary by the types of the HPV. The HPV types making mucosal involvement generally infect the genital zone and lead to cellular changes that may turn into cancer leading lesions and cancer over time (in 10-15 years).    
How does HPV infect?
It mainly infects through sexual intercourse. Penetration in the sexual intercourse is not necessarily to be infected with HPV. Even a skin contact in the genital zone (hand-genital, oral-genital) is satisfactory to get infected. In the period of existence of active lesions, the infection risk is high, while infection is also possible in the latent period. Babies may get infected from the mother during delivery.
Who are susceptible?
It has been detected that 80-90% of sexually active males and females get infected at least one time and with at least one type of the HPV types during their life course.
Why Screening Tests are Important?
Cervical cancer may be prevented by a regular gynecological examination and screening tests. Through the screening tests, any changes in the cervical cells are detected at an early stage and may be treated before the start of any cancer process.      

The key role of the HPV in development of the cervical cancer has necessitated involvement of HPV focused tests in cancer screening programs. Women in whom an abnormal cell (PAP smear) is seen in cellular cytology survey, a HPV screening must be conducted.       

According to actual screening approaches, HPV Type Detection (High Risk / Low Risk) tests are surveyed and 21 most important HPV tests are determined at our center. 
HPV Risk Groups
Low Risk Group: HPV 6, 11, 42, 43, 44, cp 8304 (81)
Potentially High Risk Group: Type 53
High Risk Group: 16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 56, 58, 59, 66, 68 
In order to have a test:
Do not forget to have your rutin Pap smear test and also your HPV test if you are over 30. You may need to call this test to the mind of your doctor. Although the HPV test is seen as an extra test, it will weight off your mind. Necessary sample collection sets (2 HPV DNA brushes and 1 transport tube containing protecting liquid) are provided by our laboratory. 

The sample types to be tested are cervical wipe and biopsy samples. The cervical wipe samples should be taken by obstetricians and gynecologists. If there is a lesion, it should be taken by a specialist doctor as biopsy and its transfer in a transport tube containing a preservative or tube containing sterile serum physiologic should be ensured. 
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The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions.