What is genital papillomavirus infection?

It is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). This virus can infect the genital area of men and women including the skin of the penis, vulva, anus or coatings of the vagina, cervix and rectum.

Latest publications estimate that about 5-10% of the Spanish population is infected with HPV, and approximately 70% of women have been or could be in contact with the virus at some point in their lives.

Some types of HPV are called “high risk ” because your infection may lead to the development of cancers in the genital area, especially cancer of the cervix in women.

What are the symptoms of infection?

Virus can cause genital warts and induce pre -cancerous changes in vaginal smears. Once transmitted, symptoms may appear within months or even years. Warts or gynecological disorders mentioned, not always a health hazard, but may indicate the possibility of developing cancer.

What is the connection between HPV infection and cervical cancer?

Several types of HPV. Approximately 25 % of the known types of HPV are considered high risk , which may lead to the development of persistent cervical cancer infection.

Subtypes of “low risk”, no risk of cancer, although to induce mild changes in routine gynecological examinations.

Subtypes of “high risk” are those that are associated with cervical cancer, may also cause less common cancers like anal.

Regular gynecological examinations , supplemented by specific detection of the virus, ensure that the presence of pre -cancerous changes, not evolve to cancer development.

With the method used by EMPIREO, we can detect the presence of HPV, which as mentioned is very common, but the most important quality of our method is to differentiate the presence of high-risk virus.

Recently published studies show that every 18 minutes a woman dies in Europe for cancer of the uterus, which in Spain results in 900 deaths per year and 2000 new cases per year. Deaths from uterine cancer outnumber associated with HIV or Hepatitis B and C, recognizing cancer as second order of frequency in female population. Appearance of new cases of cervical cancer and deaths caused by development of this disease have increased alarmingly, Spain doubling in number of deaths from cervical cancer between 1990 and 2004.

Cancer of the cervix, has a mortality rate of around 40%, although early detection, allows for medical monitoring that usually leads to healing. It raises the problem that has no symptoms until it is advanced, for that reason, the detection of risk factors such as infection with high-risk HPV is critical EMPIREO service provided.

What EMPIREO offer?

EMPIREO provides detection of the presence of virus, which can be very useful in the case of possible alterations in gynecological examinations or presence of warts, and to direct the clinical diagnosis of a viral infection, so treatment may be more effective.

More importantly , the detection by EMPIREO, indicating whether the type of virus detected in a group of “high risk”, constituting a potential marker for the development of cancer. This type of early detection, allows clinicians to impose monitoring and where necessary, initiate appropriate treatment.

In the case that the result of the screening test is positive, the  determination of presence of oncoproteins can be performed, which indicate whether the path to the cervical cancer has started.

How to prevent HPV infection?

In the event that the test result is negative and therefore no obvious signs of HPV infection, there is a chance to take the Gardasil vaccine. This vaccine is preventive and therefore does not pose a cancer treatment. Vaccine, developed by Sanofi Pasteur SMD indicates that offers women an effective protection for four types of virus (6, 11, 16 and 18) responsible for most of the diseases associated with HPV and is indicated for immunization of adolescents 9 to 15 years and adult females 16 to 26. Company itself, in recent XXIV International Papillomavirus Conference, announced that efficacy against clinical disease , regardless of persistent infections was 92%, demonstrating its effectiveness against cervical lesions early and precancerous, vulvar and vaginal precancerous lesions and genital warts in women 24 to 45 who were not infected by the virus in vaccine at time of administration.

And if you have doubts … come see us !