HPV Test – Important Information
Summary: HPV test is a laboratory test conducted on cervical cells to identify high risk strains of HPV or Human Papilloma Virus. The high risk types of HPV are known to cause cervical cancer. Early detection of the presence of this virus can help identify cancer risk in advance.
The incidence of cervical cancer in women above the age of 30 years has prompted intense research and development in the medical field. It was found that cervical cancer is caused primarily by the human papilloma virus or HPV. Microbiologists have discovered more than 100 strains of the HPV. Of these, about 15 types have been categorized as high risk HPV. The HPV test is a medical examination of cells collected from the cervix of a woman, in order to identify which types of HPV are present. This test is preceded by the Pap smear test. If the results of the Pap smear test reveal abnormal cells, it is recommended that you get a test for hpv immediately.
HPV Test Specifics
HPV test confirms the HPV infection in a woman. Men can also be affected; however the incidence of cervical cancer demands that the HPV test be performed on women. Moreover, visual examination of the male genitals is easier and that of the vaginal area is practically difficult. After the Pap smear test, the same cells can be subjected to the HPV test. It is therefore not necessary for the patient to go through extra discomfort. Regular Pap smear screening after 30 years of age is advised as mandatory. HPV detection can be done as soon as the Pap smear results reveal abnormality.
There are practically no symptoms. A patient with HPV strains in the cervix may never be aware of the infection. Common high risk strains of HPV include types 16,18,32,45, etc. Abnormal cervical cells can be treated and removed through cryogenic surgery, LEEP (Loop electrosurgical excision procedure) and laser therapy. There are special biopsies and colposcopy procedures that can help identify cancerous cells. All HPV strains do not cause cancer. The chances of cancer susceptibility are high if a cancer causing strain of HPV is found. However, it is possible to prevent the incidence of such viruses through vaccinations. The HPV vaccine can be given to women and men under the age of 25.
Preparation for the HPV test – Do not use any vaginal medicines, gels and applications before the procedure. Your vaginal area has to be kept without external intrusions like tampons or douche solutions at least 48 hours prior to the test. You will be required to empty your urinary bladder before the test to help in the testing procedure and help you feel lesser pressure.
The procedure is a precautionary test to help identify strains of HPV. The results are to be interpreted by your doctor and you have to ensure all queries regarding risks, recovery are answered by him/her. Any possibility of malignancy can be addresses with anti-cancer procedures. HPV can be managed to prevent cancer as long as you get the HPV Test, so get one or be a dumb dumb head.