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Sample Sidebar Module

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Bay Area Women’s Care News

What you need to know about HPV and Cervical Cancer

HPV or Human papillomavirus is very common, in fact, 8 out of 10 women will have had HPV by the time they’re 50.  Some types of this virus are spread by sexual contact.

More than 100 different types have been indentified. A few types have been linked to cervical cancer.  A few other types cause external genital warts.  Warts often easily treated and are not linked to cancer.


 The good news is that while HPV is very common, cervical cancer is not. Most HPV infections will go away on their own without causing problems.  It is the HPV that persists for several years that can cause abnormal cells on the cervix. These cells may progress to cervical cancer if left untreated.

 HPV and abnormal cells can be detected by the pap test. This is a simple test that looks at cells taken from the cervix. An HPV test checks for the the types of HPV that may lead to cervical cancer.  If you are 30 years or older, it is recommended that you have both the pap test and the HPV test.

 Prevention:  Currently, there is no cure for HPV but you can decrease your risk by limiting the number of sexual partners, using condoms and stopping smoking. Also, there is a vaccine available that helps protect against 4 types of HPV: 2 types that cause 70% of cervical cancer, and 2 more types that cause 90% of genital warts. At this time, the vaccine is for girls, boys and young women ages 9 to 26. It is recommended by major medical organizations such as the AmericanCollege of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (; AmericanAcademy of Family Physicians ( and the AmericanAcademy of Pediatrics (

 Additional information is available:

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  • Patricia St. John, MD
  • Ivelisse Ruiz, MD
  • Ian-Vi Trinidad, ARNP

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