HPV is the short form for human papilloma virus. HPV is of different types which can be identified with a number. Most HPV types cause warts on the skin around the arms, chest, hands, and feet. Some other HPV types can, however, cause cancer.
Some HPV types are found in the mucous membrane of the body. Mucous membranes are the moist surface layers that line the organs and parts of the body that are open to the outside such as the vagina, anus, mouth, and throat.
In women, HPV infections can also cause cervical, vaginal, and vulvar cancer. Men can also get Penile HPV cancer by HPV infection. The HPV types found on mucous membranes do not live on the skin, and they are sometimes called genital HPV.
Low-risk HPV types
There are some genital HPV that do not cause cancer, and so they are regarded as low- risk viruses. Some types of genital HPV can cause warts on or around the genitals and anus of both men and women.
High-risk HPV types
Some types of genital HPV can cause cancer in both males and females. Common high-risk HPV types include HPV 16 and 18. Infection with HPV is very common. It disappears sometimes, and at times it doesn’t go away. High-risk HPV types cause cancer over time.
HPV can easily be transmitted from an infected person to a non-infected person during skin-to-skin contact or during sex.
Cancers Caused by HPV Infections:
HPV causes all cervical cancers. Cervical cancer tends to develop slowly, and if it is noticed early enough, it can be treated successfully. The Pap test can be done which helps to look for changes in cervical cells caused by HPV infection.
VULVAR AND VAGINAL CANCER
HPV can also cause cancer of the Vulva, which is the outer part of the female genital organs and can cause cancer of the vagina. When particular types of HPV infect the cells of the vagina and vulva, the HPV causes the cells to change in ways that make them more likely to become cancer cells which can be as a result of mutation. Other forms of cancer that can be caused by HPV are vaginal cancer, anal cancer, etc.