HPV is a group of viruses that consists of about 100 related viruses that is identified by skin warts and genital warts. HPV infections are benign and short lived and are common except a few such as HPV-16, HPV-18, HPV-31 and HPV-45, which are considered to be high risk. The high-risk types of humanpillomavirus, HPV can cause the cancer of cervical, anal, and penile and many other forms of cancer. Conventionally a Pap smear test is used to detect cancer of the cervix, the lower part of the uterus. The cervical cells are evaluated under the microscope. But Pap smear does not clearly indicate if the HPV infection is high risk or low risk. HPV DNA test serves as a valuable tool to detect cervical cancer.
Nearly 20 percent of the US sexually active US population is believed to be infected with HPV virus at some point in time. Some of the women may develop a persistent infection that will eventually lead to pre-cancerous changes in the cervical cells. In this scenario, a new HPV DNA test has emerged that indicates evidence of high-risk types of humanpapillomavirus has gained widespread acceptance as an extra tool for detecting cervical cancer. The sample is the same as that used in Pap smear test to confirm the presence of high-risk types of HPV. The HPV DNA test looks for 13 of the most dreaded HPV but fails to differentiae between them. Another test is required to determine exactly which types of HPV are present.
The cell samples are collected from the cervical area of females, as a part of the pelvic examination by the physician. A type of wooden spatula is used to collect the cells from the cervical area and kept in a liquid preservative specially meant for the purpose. For HPV test on males, an anal swab or brush specimen is collected and used.
FDA has approved this test to be used for screening of women for HPV infection in conjunction with Pap smear test. Knowing if a woman is infected with HPV or not will help doctors detect and treat the early cell changes that are indicative of cervical cancer.
HPV is a type of a group of viruses that can cause cervical cancer in women. The HPV DNA test can detect the high-risk virus and can help in the prevention cervical cancer.
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