In the United States, 13,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year. In some cases, with early detection, cervical cancer can be treated by containing the abnormal cell changes in the cervix before the cancerous cells developed. Cervical cancer is caused by the human papillomavirus or HPV.
The Pap test is the tool for early detection of cervical cancer. The test is done by taking cell samples from the cervix during a pelvic exam. The cell samples are sent to a laboratory for examination of abnormal cell changes and growth.
An HPV test, on the other hand, is offered to women who have had a pap test for which some abnormal cell changes were found. This test is able to detect 13 types of HPV found in the cervix.
If any of the HPV types have been thriving in the woman's cervix for many years, it can cause changes in the cells. When this happens, treatment should be sought to prevent the adverse growth of cancerous cells. .
The most common sexually transmitted infection is HPV. Anyone who has ever been in a sexual relationship can be exposed to this virus, however, not all women infected with HPV can acquire cell changes that may lead to cervical cancer. Though there is no cure yet for HPV, there are some reliable treatments to help prevent the spread of the malignant growth cells.