Human Papilloma Virus and Cervical Cancer: What You Need to Know

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This is an article from our “Doctor’s Corner” series, brought to you by Samitivej Hospital. Make sure to read the entire series!

Every 2 minutes a woman dies from cervical cancer. According to Thailand’s National Cancer Institute, cervical cancer is one of the leading causes of death among Thai women. Every year, 6000 Thai women develop cervical cancer. Statistics indicate that 7 women die each day from this disease and more than 80% of cervical cancer is found in women aged between 30 to 60 years.

HPV and Cervical Cancer

What is HPV (Human Papilloma Virus)?

HPV is a virus that is transmitted sexually, and rarely by contact. It is usually found near the genital organs of a woman, close to the area around the cervix and vagina. More than 50 strains of HPV virus are transmitted through sexual activity. The strains can be divided into two large groups as follows:

  • The group that does not cause cancer, such as strains 6 and 11, which usually cause genital warts
  • The group that causes cancer such as strains 16, 18, 31, 33 and 45, which cause abnormalities in the cervical cells, and may lead to cancer

It takes, on average, 10 years or more for cell abnormalities related to HPV to develop into cervical cancer.

Looking for a doctor for your cervical cancer questions? We recommend:
Pairoj Junyangdikul, M.D.Pairoj Junyangdikul, Asst. Prof. M.D.
Pathology, Samitivej Hospital
Questions about your pregnancy, child birth or life with an infant? Ask the Doctor!

HPV DNA Testing reduces the risk of developing cervical cancer

Why is it necessary to detect HPV? Research has shown that HPV is the cause of cervical cancer in most of the cases. HPV Testing is a molecular-based test which has a 90% sensitivity for identifying the virus that causes abnormal cells at the cervix. It helps in detecting the abnormalities in the cervical cells from the early stage. It also enables the physician to treat this disorder before the cancer develops in the cervix.

Diagnosis of the abnormalities of cervical cells in the early stage

The diagnosis of the abnormalities of cervical cells in the early stage is done by detection of the HPV DNA along with the ThinPrep Pap Test every one to three years.

Take preventive measures to protect yourself against cervical cancer

Taking care and protection against cervical cancer or reducing the risk of HPV infection is important to women. The following are simple guidelines:

  • Avoid the following risk factors: intercourse at an early age; multiple sleeping partners; smoking
  • Maintain a healthy body and exercise regularly
  • Woman aged 30 years who have had sexual intercourse, should undergo an annual Pap Smear Test, along with a test to detect HPV, to determine any abnormal changes in the cervical cells
  • The HPV vaccine stimulates the immune system to produce antibodies that protect against the HPV, the types which cause cervical cancer.

Samitivej, We Care!

For further information, please contact:

Child Health Institute
Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital
2st Floor, Building 2
Tel: 66 (0) 2711-8236-7
Call Center: 66 (0) 2711-8181

Photo Credit: suvodeb via Compfight cc

Samitivej Womens Health Center

Samitivej Hospitals are world class international health care facilities located in Bangkok, Thailand.

Fully equipped with the state-of-the-art technologies, our innovative Women's Health Center at Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital provides comprehensive gynecological and obstetrical service for women of all ages.

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