Most HPV-infected people do not experience any symptoms or other related health issues. Instead, only a smaller percentage of HPV-infected people experience symptoms like genital warts or cancer.
Interestingly, high-risk HPV strains do not cause any noticeable symptoms upfront. But they could eventually cause a person to have abnormal cellular changes, especially in the cervix. Unless the person receives regular physical examinations and checkups from their doctor, their HPV infection could develop into a more severe condition like cervical cancer.
Fortunately, doctors can provide treatment to slow down the abnormal cellar changes and prevent cancer formation if HPV and cell changes are discovered early enough.
Pap Tests and HPV Tests
The two most important tests for a woman to receive are the Pap test and the HPV test. The Pap test checks for abnormal cell changes in the cervix. If your doctor discovers these cellular changes in the cervix, they will want to monitor them regularly and offer treatment to slow them down.
An HPV test detects high-risk HPV strains infecting the cervix. If the signs of a high-risk HPV strain exist in the cervix, the chances of cervical cancer rise significantly. Follow your doctor’s advice on how to prevent the formation of cervical cancer before it starts. Unfortunately, there are no high-risk HPV tests to evaluate the throat, anus, penis, or vulva for an HPV infection. But if they become cancerous, the symptoms will be more than obvious. So let’s review those symptoms below:
A man who gets cancer of the penis will notice their penis skin becoming thicker and changing color.
Cancer of the anus can lead to anal pain, discharge, itching, bleeding, or unusual bowel movements.
A woman with cancer of the vulva will notice more thickness or unusual colors on their vulval skin. Sometimes a lump, chronic pain, or itchiness will occur on the vulva as well.
Cancer of the throat could cause you to experience a sore throat, consistent coughing, chronic ear pain, difficulty swallowing, unusual weight loss, lumps on the neck, and throat pain.
Contact Your Doctor Immediately
Make an appointment to see your primary care physician if you experience these symptoms.
Having a high-risk HPV infection does not necessarily mean you will get cancer, but you should always take it seriously nonetheless. That way, you can take the proper precautions and make the appropriate lifestyle changes to avoid aggravating your immune system and increasing the risk of cancer.
Remember that a healthy immune system is the key to stopping the virus. Most HPV-infected people never get symptoms or cancer because their immune systems eradicate the virus within a few years after infection. However, it is wise to let a doctor monitor the infection to ensure no abnormal cellular activity exists.