Genital warts and their cancer myth is no longer a myth. The 2 naked facts are genital warts do not cause cancer but Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) does and the types of HPV that cause genital warts and genital cancers are different.
Girls, are you aware of these statistics?
Shocking report from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that at least 1 in 4 teenage girls nationwide has a sexual transmitted disease, or more than 3 million teens, according to the first study of its kind in this age group.
In 2008, there were 92, 525 diagnoses of genital warts in UK GUM clinics. The highest rates of diagnoses were among women aged 16-19 and men aged 20-24. Another study by the Health Protection Agency further estimated that at least 1 in 10 of young women in England have caught one or more strains of HPV that could lead to cervical cancer by the age of 16. There is also a substantial risk of girls having an infection by 14.
So, what does this study have to do with you?
If you are not careful and do not protect yourself, you are at the high risk of getting HPV infection if you have sex with an infected person.
What are female genital warts?
Female genital warts or vaginal warts are caused by HPV. They grow in the moist tissues of the genital areas, groin, pubis and inner thighs. Some warts are deep inside and thus cannot be seen easily unless other symptoms appear. The size of the warts may differ according to the infection and it can even be invisible to naked human eye.
They are usually soft, moist, pink to red in color, small flat bumps or thin and pointed in shape. Occasionally, they are pigmented. The warts may grow from tiny papules into 4 inches that can further problems in urination, defecation, sexual intercourse and childbirth.
Infected individual may experience abnormal vaginal bleeding, excessive moisture in the warts growth area, increased of vaginal discharge, itching on the anal area, vulvar and cervix. These are symptoms but their presence does not always mean warts infection.
Which HPV cause genital warts and genital cancers?
HPV Types 6 and 8 (low-risk) cause external visible warts and rarely cause growth that develops into cancer.
HPV Types 16 and 18 (high-risk) were found to be related to genital cancers such as of the cervix, anus, and vulvar. Both types together cause about 70% cervical cancers globally but Type 16 has the greatest contribution to cervical cancer in all regions.
All types of HPV can cause the growth of abnormal cells in the infected area, but only the high-risk types can lead to cancerous growth. HPV infections can persist for many years and disappear without causing any abnormalities. However, if abnormalities occur, you must treat it immediately. If abnormalities are left untreated, they can lead to cancer. As a general rule, the more severe the abnormal cell changes, the greater the risk of cancer.
One important hint to remember!
The infected person may not aware that he or she is infected. This will make it hard for you to determine who is infected.
Besides HPV infection, excessive smoking and alcohol intake will tremendously increase your risk of cancer.
Girls, beware that cervical cancer strikes nearly half a million women each year worldwide, claiming a quarter of a million lives. Love yourself by protecting yourself from getting HPV infection that may cost your life. Prevent female genital warts and cancer from today onwards. Again, if unfortunately infected, cure promptly.