High-risk oncogenic HPV: what is the danger?
An ordinary wart and a malignant tumor – what do they have in common? No, no, a wart will not degenerate into cancer. However, there is something that unites them – this is HPV, human papillomavirus, or human papillomavirus.
What is HPV?
Under this name is a whole group of viruses of a general nature containing DNA. There are 27 species and about 200 strains. Designate them with numbers: HPV (HPV – human papillomavirus) 1, 2, 16, etc.
The absolute majority of the world’s population is infected with these viruses: according to scientists, from 70 to 90%. But for many, the virus does not manifest itself throughout life and can only be detected by chance. In such cases, they speak of carriage.
HPV infection occurs through the domestic and sexual routes. A newborn can get the papilloma virus from the mother during childbirth.
Not all papillomaviruses are equally dangerous. So, there are viruses that cause various warts: ordinary, plantar, flat. They can cause discomfort, spoil the appearance, but do not pose a serious threat to health. But some HPVs are oncogenic, that is, contributing to the degeneration of body cells into malignant.
According to this criterion, all types of HPV were divided into viruses with low, medium and high oncogenicity.
This is the most dangerous type of virus, especially often it affects women. If the immune system is strong enough, then the virus can remain in the body without causing any symptoms. Signs of infection appear on the background of a weakened immune system, after a serious illness. It:
Viruses of high oncogenicity, that is, a high risk of developing malignant neoplasms, include HPV 16, 18, 31, 33, 39, 50, 59, 64, 68, 70. The most dangerous types are 16 and 18. When activated, they introduce their DNA into a human cell, reprogramming it and thereby causing pathological cell division.
round warts on the palms and feet;
papillomas in the groin and in the armpit area;
genital warts on the labia and anus;
spotting from the vagina, more often after sexual contact.
HPV 16 can lead to pathological changes in the cervical mucosa, its cells degenerate and begin to divide rapidly, which is already a precancerous condition (dysplasia, or cervical intraepithelial neoplasia).
HPV 16 can lead to cancer of the uterus, skin.
For men, type 16 virus is less dangerous: only in 1% of cases there is cancer of the genital organs – the penis or testicles.
Like type 16 virus, it belongs to the most dangerous papillomaviruses and also contributes to the development of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia.
In addition, HPV 18 causes a bowenoid papulosis, which, if left untreated, can progress to cancer. Bowenoid papulosis is manifested by formations of red, purple, yellowish color on the external genitalia, which are accompanied by severe itching.
For men, HPV type 18 is dangerous for the development of Bowen’s disease – the appearance of a red plaque on the head of the penis, which can develop into a malignant tumor.
Can I get rid of HPV?
It is believed that it is impossible to completely remove the virus from the human body using the means available today. But this does not mean that he does not have to fight. Treatment for papillomavirus includes:
removal of formations;
But sometimes in a patient after the treatment, the virus is not detected. This means that the body itself destroyed the enemy.
Before starting treatment, you should determine the type of papillomavirus. This can be done using PCR.
To remove the papillomas, a laser, electrocoagulation, cryodestruction are used or the formation is surgically excised. Cauterization of warts with chemicals is also used.
Although antiviral drugs do not completely destroy the virus, they can reduce the viral load.
Immunomodulators are sometimes used to maintain the immune system.
Treatment in each case is selected individually, taking into account the type of virus. That is why you should not try to get rid of papillomas yourself, with the help of folk remedies, this can only do much harm.