Gynecologic cancer | Cervical cancer causes and risk factors

These FAQs about the causes and risk factors of cervical cancer have been answered by women who have learned about this subject in order to better understand their condition. For more information about cervical cancer, please visit our Resource section on gynecological cancers.

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 How is HPV transmitted?

 Karen, Alberta, Canada: HPV, or the Human Papilloma Virus, is the wart virus. There are many, many strains, some that cause warts on your hands, and some that infect the genital tract. The strains that are linked to cervical cancer usually do not cause genital warts - the scary thing is that you can have the virus and not know it! Some estimates say that up to 60% or more people carry at least one strain of HPV. Interestingly, new research is showing links between HPV and head and neck cancers, too.

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 I am a 47 year old male. My fiancee has been diagnosed with cervical cancer. We had intercourse last month, before she was diagnosed. Am I at risk?

 Karen, Alberta, Canada: Your question makes me think you may be interested in information on both cervical cancer and HPV (Human Papilloma Virus), a virus that can be sexually transmitted, and which appears to be implicated as a risk factor in cancers of both women's and men's genital tracts, as well as throat and anal cancers. To determine your own risk, you should visit your own personal physician to go over the specifics of your situation. Your physician will be able to obtain a complete medical history and answer any questions you may have.

For general information regarding the risk factors of cervical cancer, visit our FAQ regarding this subject. The following sites have information on HPV - visit:

http://www.cervicalcancercampaign.org/home.htm

and

http://www.cervicalhealth.org/topica_may99.asp

If your fiancee is seeking support in dealing with the diagnosis of cervical cancer, or if you are interested in better knowing how to support her during treatment and recovery, please refer to our email discussion group.

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