women's health @ radium
Early Detection is Key, Screen for HPV Today
HPV screening checks for the presence of human papillomavirus, or HPV in a person’s body. It is a sexually transmitted virus that can cause a range of health problems, including genital warts and some types of cancer, such as cervical cancer.
The HPV test analyses sample cells swabbed from the cervix to detect presence of HPV. The sampling procedure for an HPV test is the same as Pap smear.
Are There Any Symptoms of HPV Infection?
In most cases, HPV does not have any symptom and most people won’t know that they have it.
However, if any symptoms do develop, they may appear as warts on the genital area.
The interval between contracting HPV and appearance of any symptom can take months or even years to develop.
Is HPV Infection Serious?
In most people, HPV virus is harmless and does not show symptoms, and will not develop into warts, or pre-cancer or cancer.
For some people, symptoms of HPV can present as genital warts, which is not a serious infection. It can disappear on its own. There are also many treatment options available.
In addition, certain strains of HPV can cause cancers of the cervix, anus, vulva, vagina, penis, and throat. These cancers can be serious and even life-threatening if not detected and treated early.
In particular, HPV-16 and HPV-18 can lead to cancers as they can alter the skin cells, causing development of cervical, vaginal, vulval, anal, head and neck cancers.
Are There HPV Vaccinations Available in Singapore?
Fortunately, yes. HPV vaccinations are available. HPV vaccine works best when administered prior to HPV infection. This means before becoming sexually active. For people who are already sexually active, the vaccine is still beneficial as it will prevent the acquisition of new types of HPV infections.
It is recommended that both boys and girls receive the HPV vaccine at age 11 or 12, before they become sexually active. Additionally, regular screening for cervical cancer and other HPV-related cancers can help detect any abnormalities early on, when they are more treatable.
Contact us to find out more.
Differences between Pap Smear and HPV Test
Combining Pap smear and HPV screening is recommended because HPV infection is the most common cause of cervical cancer, and early detection of abnormal cells can lead to early treatment and better outcomes. It’s important to note that both tests are not 100% accurate and should be done on a regular basis, as recommended by your doctor.
Is Preparation Required for HPV Test?
No preparation is required before undergoing a HPV test.