At Northwest Women’s Center, our providers ensure that patients have information they need about maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Certain conditions, such as HPV, may impact one’s health and wellness. Many patients are not as well educated on HPV as they may be about other conditions such as breast cancer. Our team is happy to inform patients about this condition, and educate patients on prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.
What is HPV?
Our doctors describe HPV as a virus. HPV stands for human papillomavirus. There are over 100 different strains of HPV, and some of them can increase a patient’s risk for cancer. While the idea of this might sound scary, it is important that patients know that their risk of cancer will increase if their body is unable to fight off the virus with their immune system. Testing positive for HPV means that one or more of the higher risk strains have been found through common screening procedures such as a pap smear. The longer HPV is in your system, the more likely it can cause changes to cells in the body that can lead to a diagnosis of cancer.
Will I get cancer if I contract HPV?
Not necessarily. The risk of cancer with an HPV diagnosis is relatively small, but it should still be taken seriously. It is vital that patients monitor their HPV over time with the help of a doctor to ensure the body attacks it properly. Many patients who are diagnosed with HPV may find that their immune system fights it off within a few years, while others may have it remain. This is why continued testing and monitoring of HPV and related cancers is important in those who have been diagnosed.
How can I prevent HPV?
HPV may be contracted through unprotected sex, so the use of condoms during sexual intercourse with new partners is highly recommended. Patients can screen regularly for HPV, or ask about the HPV vaccine.
Learn more about HPV prevention, diagnosis, or treatment
At Northwest Women’s Center, we work directly with women in the Houston, TX area who are in need of reproductive and gynecological care. If you want more information on HPV, we welcome you to book a consultation visit at our facility with one of our providers. We are located at 13215 Dotson Road, Suite #200 and can be reached by phone at (281) 444-3440.