Can HPV Raise My Cancer Risk?

More and more research indicates that the human papillomavirus (HPV) may significantly increase the risk of several cancers, not just cervical cancer. HPV causes cancer of the mouth, throat, and even some parts of the skin. According to new research, people who have the virus are three times more likely to develop esophageal cancer.

According to the Mayo Clinic, there are over 100 different types of human papillomavirus. Warts on various parts of your body can be caused by different types of HPV. Some types, for example, cause plantar warts on the feet, while others are responsible for warts that commonly appear on the hands or face. Not everyone who is infected with HPV gets cancer. The majority of HPV is fought off by the individual’s immune system and eventually disappears.

The majority of cervical cancers are caused by two types of genital HPV. Because these two HPV strains rarely cause warts, women are often unaware they are infected. Cervical cancer in its early stages usually has no symptoms. According to the CDC, approximately 10,000 women in the United States develop cervical cancer, with the HPV virus being the primary cause. In general, 80 percent or more of sexually active people will contract HPV at some point in their lives.

HPV vaccines are administered in three doses over the course of six months. Girls and boys who receive all three vaccine doses and have time to develop an immune response before engaging in sexual activity with another person benefit the most from HPV vaccines. As a result, HPV vaccination is recommended for preteen girls and boys between the ages of 11 and 12.

Women should have regular Pap tests as well as the HPV test, which can detect precancerous changes in the cervix that may lead to cancer.

If you have HPV, you should disclose it when applying for life insurance because your medical history can be easily evaluated. You may choose to wait until the virus is gone, depending on the type of HPV. You can, however, choose a life insurance plan that does not require a medical exam.

For the best advice on your specific situation, speak with an insurance agent.

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