- HPV 101
- Cervical and other HPV-related Cancers
- Genital Warts
- Preventing Cervical Cancer thru HPV Vaccination
- Decoding the PAP (Papanicolaou Tests)
- The Benefits of Liquid-based PAP Tests
- Electrosurgery as Cervical Pre-cancer Treatment
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the world. Individuals of any age can be infected with HPV, but it is most commonly seen in men and women between 15 and 25 years of age. While 80% of all people will be infected with HPV during their lifetime, in most cases the infection resolves spontaneously. However, HPV is rarely cleared from the body in people who are immunosuppressed. Some types of HPV can cause warts in different parts of the body including the throat and anogenital regions. Anogenital and oropharyngeal HPV infections can also cause precancers and cancers of the cervix, vagina, vulva, anus, penis and throat.
High-risk types of HPV can cause cancers of the cérvix, vulva, vagina, anus and throat. Cancer-causing types of HPV initially produce a precancerous lesión in the skin. If not detected and treated at this early stage, when cure is virtually assured, the precancerous lesions can later become cancers. Early cancers caused by HPV usually cause no symptoms, such as bleeding or pain. These cancers, depending upon stage or severity of cáncer, are generally treated with surgery, or chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Genital warts are fleshy growths that are found in the anogenital region. They may grow around the anus, on the penis, cervix, vulva, and inside the vagina, anus or urethra. Genital warts vary greatly in size, color, shape, and texture, depending on where they are found. Most warts are painless, and many people don't realize they have them. Genital warts are caused by an HPV infection.
The quadrivalent HPV vaccine (Gardasil) is effective in preventing 90% of genital warts and 70% of cervical cancers. The HPV vaccine is administered in 2 doses for 9-14 year-old children, or in 3 doses for 15-26 year-old males and females. In many countries, the HPV vaccine is also approved for use up to 45 years of age. Extensive research has demontrated HPV vaccine to be safe. All eligible Peruvians are encouraged to be vaccinated with the HPV vaccine.
Papanicolaou (PAP) tests are done for screening cervical cancer and pre-cancers. It detects changes in the cells of the cervix (the mouth of the womb) that are not normal. The test involves taking a small sample of cells from the cervix, usually during a routine pelvic exam. The cells are sent to a laboratory where they are prepared and evaluated under a microscope.
Liquid-based PAP tests are the modern way to test for cervical cancer. They are more accurate in detecting cervical pre-cancers and cancer than the older conventional PAP test used throughout Peru. CerviCusco was the first health care center in Peru, and is still the only laboratory in Cusco, to provide this vastly improved method to collect, process and evaluate these superior PAP tests.
Colposcopy is a diagnostic examination to evaluate women with abnormal PAP test results. Using a colposcope, which has a bright light and high magnification much like a microscope, cervical lesions may be identified and biopsies may be obtained to confirm the clinical diagnosis. The results from the colposcopy exam help determine proper patient management. CerviCusco offers internationally renowned colposcopy services.
Cervical pre-cancers are caused by an HPV infection. If the immune system does not eliminate HPV from the body, pre-cancers develop. Mild pre-cancers or CIN1 do not require treatment. Rather, in 90% of cases, these lesions are cured by the immune system. However, moderate to severe cervical precancers, CIN2 and CIN3, are less like to resolve spontaneously, and can eventually evolve into cáncer. Therefore, moderate to severe pre-cancers must be treated to prevent the deveolpment of cervical cáncer. CerviCusco offers our patients modern, office-based, fertility-sparing electrosurgery of precancerous cervical lesions, instead of a hysterectomy. Electrosurgical loop excision is one type of surgical treatment to remove abnormal cells from the cervix. A small wire loop instrument, using a special electrical current, is used to remove abnormal tissue from your cervix. Usually one to two small pieces of the cervix (about the size of a thimble you put on your finger when sewing) are removed. These samples are sent to a pathologist to make sure all of the abnormal cells are removed and to check and see if more serious disease is present. Following loop excision, normal cells slowly replace the area where the abnormal cells were located.