Health 24 turned to Mariana Tenet, head of antenatal clinic, obstetrician-gynecologist and genetics doctor of the Medical Center "Medicare" and obstetrician-gynecologist Natalia Kozak.
See also: Cervical cancer: symptoms, prevention, diagnosis and risk group
Ways of infection with human papillomavirus
Infection occurs mainly through sexual contact, less commonly household (in contact with the skin and mucous membranes of an infected person), although transmission of the virus through contaminated clothing, personal hygiene products, etc. cannot be completely ruled out.
The use of barrier methods of contraception does not protect against infection with HPV.
Children can become infected with the papillomavirus from a sick mother, particularly during childbirth.
The infection rate of the population of HPV, according to different authors, ranges from 30 to 80%, and the probability of infection from a single contact with an HPV-infected partner is quite high – about 60%.
Papillomavirus infected up to 80% of people // pixabay.com
The relationship between human papillomavirus and the possibility of cervical cancer
It is important that the virus infection and the disease are not identical things, and this applies not only to HPV, but also other viruses. In any healthy organism, the immune system reacts in response to the ingress of a virus, and in the absence of conditions favorable to it, self-identification occurs, that is, the removal of the pathogenic factor from the organism
Gynecologist Mariana Teneta "Such a mechanism works somewhere in 80% of cases of HPV in the body of a woman under the age of 30. Unfortunately, it has been shown that with age the probability of virus self-determination decreases, respectively, the risk of developing precancer and cervical cancer increases, reaching a maximum in 45 years old. "
Let us return to those 20% who did not remove the virus. Actually, the pathological process starts at the moment when the HPV begins to be incorporated into the chromosomal apparatus of the cell, which is a necessary condition for its reproduction. Clinically, this is manifested by cervical epithelium dysplasia, the severity of which slowly but surely progresses without treatment.
Cervical dysplasia – what is it? Atypical (pathological) changes in the cells of the cervix, their restructuring and excessive growth (uncontrolled reproduction), leading to disruption of normal maturation and rejection of these cells.
The process of intracellular changes from mild dysplasia to invasive cervical cancer is quite long and, according to various studies, can last from 3 to 15 years, depending on the presence of risk factors and immune system characteristics.
Vaccination is the only way to protect against papillomavirus // nastanova.com
In connection with such features of the existence and development of HPV, the role of screening prophylactic examinations becomes understandable. In countries with the most advanced screening system (Switzerland, Finland) over the past 10 years, it has been possible to reduce the incidence of cervical cancer by 40-60%.
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How to find out if you have a human papillomavirus and diagnosis of cervical cancer
Gynecologist Natalia Kozak "The worst thing is that there are no early signs and symptoms that could alert a woman about cancer on the cervix. It is possible a rash on the genitals, both in women and in men, but this is not the first sign. If papillomas appeared on the genitals, you need to consult a doctor (gynecologist or urologist). "
HPV carriage detected during laboratory studies:
– Cytological examination of cervical smear or PAP test – is the "gold standard" in the diagnosis of cervical cancer;
– Determination of HPV types using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for infection;
– Scraping the cervical canal.
The PAP test is recommended for the first time 2-3 years after the onset of sexual activity. During this time, the cancer will not have time to develop, even if the HPV has already attacked the body. If the result is negative, the next PAP test should be done after 2 years and adhere to this sequence for up to 30 years. After 30 years, in addition to the PAP test, it is also necessary to pass an analysis on HPV 16 and type 18 (since before the age of 30, this type of virus is eliminated from the body itself).
Identify cervical cancer at the initial stage can only be by passing a smear every 1-2 years. After 40 years, attentiveness to your body must be doubled and screened every year. Such a tight schedule is needed because in no other way can cervical cancer be detectable at the stages of treatment.
Gynecologist Mariana Teneta "During the examination, the doctor takes a small amount of cells from the cervix with a special brush and sends them to the laboratory. With this analysis, you can identify an infection, inflammation or pathological changes in the epithelium of the cervix uterus. allowing to examine the cervix in detail under high magnification. If there are any changes in the tissue, then a biopsy is performed and, if necessary, scraping of the cervical canal. "
Treatment of human papillomavirus
If you are only a carrier of HPV and at the same time the doctor does not find any pathological changes in the cervix, and the cytological smear shows the first (normal) type, then in no case panic and do not rush to go through long-term expensive and absolutely no need for drug treatment courses. In the future, you just need to visit your gynecologist 1 time in six months, at the same time monitoring the cytological smear from the cervix and checking for HPV. Remember that the probability of self-destruction of the virus is very high!
Papillomavirus does not always cause serious diseases // pixabay.com
If HPV carriage and pathological changes in the cervix are detected, the doctor will prescribe a radical treatment for precancerous cervical pathologies, namely, cutting out the altered area with a high-temperature electric or radio wave knife. The procedure is usually carried out in the conditions of antenatal clinic under local anesthesia, sometimes using short-term intravenous anesthesia. The removed area must be sent for histological examination.
See also: How to avoid cancer: advice from a leading oncologist
The clinical efficacy of antiviral drugs for the course of human papillomavirus infection, according to the position of evidence-based medicine, is not proven.
Gynecologist Mariana Teneta "There is no need to fear the diagnosis of cervical cancer in the early stages, because today intracellular cancer (0-1 stage) is cured in 95% of cases with preservation of reproductive function. At the 2nd stage, surgical treatment is performed Stage 3 is also added topically to radiation therapy. Also, starting treatment, it is important to quit smoking, because this habit has a very negative effect on the outcome of the treatment. "
Prevention is the best way to protect yourself from a dangerous illness. There are two ways to prevent the disease:
Primary – vaccination;
Secondary – a full-fledged annual screening, lifestyle and sexual culture among the population, the prevention of bad habits, healthy eating, strengthening the immune system.
Also: preventive measures are:
– postponement of the onset of sexual activity in children and adolescents, regardless of gender;
– absence of chaotic sexual contacts and frequent change of sexual partners (for all age groups);
– regular visits by a woman to routine check-ups at a gynecologist (smear on flora, cytology, colposcopy).
Women need to regularly take a smear on cytology, do not smoke and eat properly – there are a lot of vegetables, fruits and cereals. According to some studies, carotene, vitamins A, C, and E, as well as folic acid, reduce the risk of cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that is easier to prevent, and timely and high-quality diagnostics can save lives!
A visit to a gynecologist will help keep you healthy // nytimes.com
Vaccination against human papillomavirus
Vaccination is able to protect a woman against cancer of the cervix, vulva, vagina and anus; and men – from cancer of the anus, cancer of the penis and genital warts.
Vaccinated for HPV can be from 9 years of age (both girls and boys). You need to vaccinate adults or your children in a medical institution, after consulting a doctor.
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Ukraine uses the Cervarix vaccine. Possible 2- or 3-dose vaccination. Dvodozovu use in age from 9 to 14 years with an interval of six months. After 15 years, before the start of sexual activity, you need to enter 3 doses of vaccine.
If sex life has already begun, then before vaccination it is necessary to pass an analysis for the detection of papillomavirus. If HPV is detected, then you must first undergo a course of treatment, and then do a re-examination and then to be vaccinated.
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