Women Unaware of Viral Link to Cervical Cancer
Sunday, August 17th 2003
Many women are unaware that a virus is the main cause of cervical cancer or that birth control pills offer no protection against it, according to a survey released on Tuesday.
The human papillomavirus (HPV) is linked with about 95% of cervical cancer cases and is one of the most common causes worldwide of sexually transmitted disease.
Less than one third of the more than 1000 women questioned in the survey at a London clinic over 15 months had ever heard of HPV.
Less than half knew HPV is linked with cervical cancer. Those who did were older women who had had an abnormal cervical smear. The average age of the respondents was 30.
"In this relatively well-educated sample, awareness and knowledge of HPV were poor," Jo Waller of the University of London said in a report in the August issue of Sexually Transmitted Infections.
Although almost all women with cervical cancer have HPV, studies have shown that only a small percentage with HPV develop cervical cancer.
HPV also causes genital warts, which are the most easily recognized sign of an HPV infection. But only one third of the women questioned knew that genital warts do not cause cervical cancer.
Smokers were generally less knowledgeable about HPV, which is a cause of concern, the researchers note, because studies have found that smoking increases the risk of cervical dysplasia and cancer in women with HPV.
"Public education is urgently needed so that women participating in cervical cancer screening are fully informed about the meaning of their results," Waller added.
Sex Transm Infect 2003;79:320-322
Footnote from Ideal Health:
The following products could all be helpful for HPV
Fully Active Folate
Inner Health Plus
Superior Olive Leaf
Hi Strength Fish Oil Caps
Sambucus Black Elderberry
Super Multi Plus
Quit Smoke Pack
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Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered. The information is not intended to be comprehensive or to provide medical advice to you. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.
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