At the beginning of the last century, the human papilloma virus was mentioned as the cause of warts. But then it turned out that it could induce the development of genital cancer in both sexes and carcinoma of the throat and rectum. Depending on the spectrum of clinical manifestations, doctors sought to isolate the different types of HPV and combine them into a certain system.
Everything you need to know about human papillomavirus
More and more people are wondering: HPV infection - what disease? This acronym denotes a group of viruses that are widespread and heterogeneous in their DNA structure, capable of infecting the skin and mucous membranes. This contamination has been going on for a long time. So warts have been known since Greek and Roman times, and genital warts are even earlier. The PCR method was even successful in isolating type 18 HPV DNA from the mummy of Mary of Aragon (16th century). And only in the early twenty-first century did people have the ability to influence the spread of pathogens.
There is some opinion on the number of types of HPV. It is officially established that the group includes more than 170 strains. They form 5 genera, with about 130 agents described and studied in detail. But scientists already know that nearly 600 types are found in humans.
HPV is a single species first recorded in 1971. To date, the knowledge about it has been much richer, which serves as a driving force for its creation. a category that reflects not only the species but also the genus to which the strain belongs. In practice, this is very important, as it helps to define the clinical manifestations and the form of the infectious process.
Viruses are detected according to the following criteria:
- transmission method
- target (skin or mucous membrane);
- diseases that develop as a result of infection;
Grading by carcinogenicity is necessary to prevent consequences associated with the development of cancer processes.
Types of HPV:
- low risk - strains 6, 12, 14, 42-44;
- medium risk - types 31, 35, 51;
- high risk - 16, 18, 45, 56, 58, 59.
This classification allows you to visually assess risk and develop an appropriate treatment strategy.
The most dangerous strains
It has been shown that HPV is capable of stimulating overgrowth of the dermis and leads to the formation of benign masses on the face, neck, back, and abdomen, each of which looks like acne. Rice, papilloma, veruciform skin dysplasia. But the highly carcinogenic pathogen in most cases stimulates the development of cancer in both men and women. The virus is transmitted mainly through sex, and contraception cannot 100% protect from its penetration.
The following strains are considered the most dangerous:
- Condylomatosis (appearance of spiky fibers) - 6, 42.
- Small flat shape that forms on the vaginal wall and cervical canal - 30, 33, 42, 43, 55, 57, 64, 67.
- Cervical carcinoma - 31, 35, 39, 54, 66. HPV types 16 and 18 are considered the most dangerous.
It's important to know!Even if you have identified a virus, don't panic, as the most malicious strains can be "hibernated" for a long time. Therefore, it can take decades from the infection to the formation of cervical cancer.
The penetration of the virus into the body
The papillomavirus is considered to be highly contagious, with each capable of transmitting a specific method.
The main options for the entry of the pathogen into the "victim's" body are as follows:
- Having sex with a carrier. The most common method of infection. The danger is manifested by both traditional sexual intercourse and other types of intercourse. Because the pathogen is much smaller than the hole diameter of a condom, birth control pills cannot provide 100% protection.
- A vertical infection involves transmission of the virus from mother to baby during labor. A non-cellular agent can cause laryngeal papilloma in a newborn, that is, formation of tumors on the mucous membranes of the larynx and mouth, less often than on the genitals.
- Indoor exposure and transmission is also considered common. Some strains have remarkable vitality, so they can maintain their activity in humid environments. When going to saunas, swimming pools, and baths, when sharing toiletries, the risk of infection increases, especially if there are small wounds on the skin.
- Self-infection or self-infection can occur when a live virus cell is accidentally transferred from the damaged area to the healthy part of the skin during shaving and hair removal and is simply not in compliance. hygiene rules.
It's important to know!High-risk carcinogens transmitted mainly through sexual intercourse and contraceptive methods do not guarantee complete protection against infection. This is not only due to the small size of the virus but also because the virus is localized on the surface of the dermis, which is not covered by a condom.
Causes of papilloma progression
Regardless of the level of carcinogenicity, HPV is cunning, meaning it can live inside the human body without manifesting it in any way. Depending on the state of the immune system, the incubation period can last from 2-3 weeks to several decades. Therefore, people with no outward signs are not even aware of the presence of an infectious agent in their body.
Rapid reproduction does not start immediately, but only under favorable conditions, that is the weakening of the defense mechanism, which occurs on the basis of the following factors:
- stress, overwork;
- poor and monotonous food;
- hormonal imbalance;
- bad habits - smoking and alcohol abuse;
- frequent abortion complications after childbirth;
- inflammatory diseases of the genitourinary system;
- STIs, including AIDS, HIV, herpes; Chronic illness
- in the acute phase;
- pregnancy period.
Risk groups are mainly comprised of more equal gender. The likelihood of infection increases in people of the reproductive age 20-45 years old, who are sexually active.
Symptoms at different stages
Human papillomavirus infection can be obvious or latent, or subclinical. Symptoms of the disease are diverse, it is caused by the type of HPV, its severity. The underlying course of the disease is characterized by the absence of signs.
- flat and coarse warts;
- genital warts.
Form cannot be seen when externally checked:
- coylocytosis; dysplasia
Recurrent episodes caused by papillomavirus virus appear in the form of the following pathologies:
- keratosis with mild epithelial changes;
- primary dysplasia;
- cancer tumor;
- squamous cell carcinoma.
It's important to know!In the case of the virus that does not cause cancer, it is possible to form local warts on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet. In the absence of a cosmetic discomfort, resection is not indicated.
During an exacerbation, a woman develops fever, chills, itching, fever, vaginal discharge.
Learn more about the consequences
The type and severity of an HPV infection is determined by the activity of the pathogen and its type. When the genotype is affected by a high risk of causing cancer, prolonged replication contributes to an increase in the number of cell structures with the genetic mutation.
In the context of bacterial vaginosis, a transformation of the cervical epithelium, as well as a number of other pathological processes that occur in the body, the risk of transitioning to a precancerous stage or development ofMalignant tumors will increase.
The latter includes the following states.
- Cancer of the cervix. Second disease after breast cancer in women. More than 70% of all cases are due to the active HPV types 16 and 18.
- Vaginal and vulvar carcinoma. In the cancerous structure of the anus, it occupies a leading position. All tenth cases are caused by strains 6 or 11 and one third are caused by viruses 16 and 18. cause.
- Anal cancer. It is found mainly in women, but it has also been noted in homosexual men performing a unique method of intercourse, although doctors have not ruled out another path of transmission. The cause of the cancer is the activity of HPV types 18 and 16.
Of course, this is not a verdict, but regarding these data, the need for a thorough diagnosis of gynecology and cancer increases. Comprehensive testing allows the early detection of structural changes in cells and tissues, in the case of human papilloma virus, to help determine the correct treatment.
As mentioned, diagnostic measures play an important role in defeating the body with HPV.
The modern examination is done with great care and includes some procedure:
- Initial consultation includes visual examination to identify external signs (warts, papillomas). If tumors are found in the urogenital area, the doctor will instruct the patient to perform additional examination of the cervix or ureteroscopy.
- PAP test or Pap smear cytology. Based on the results, divided into classes, the doctor determines the risks of the infectious process. Therefore, degrees 1 and 2 denote the normal state of tissues, degree 3 - about the onset of pathological changes, grades 4 and 5 characterize the presence of cancer-causing cells.
- Colposcopy. It is performed in the case of dysplasia in the tissues of the cervix. Acetic acid test is prescribed to clarify the activity of papilloma virus. A positive result appears as a mosaic pattern on the epithelial surface.
- Histology. The study of an affected tissue sample is performed if it is necessary to study the cells and the pathological changes that occur in them. During surgery, you can identify exceptionally large-sized epithelial structures.
- PCR. The most popular and highly informative test. With the help of polymerase chain reaction, it is possible to perform typing, determining the level of carcinogenicity and maximum concentration in the blood.
- Digene test. Modern innovative research methods help clarify existing results and determine the possibility of forming cancer education.
Similar diagnostic tactics are used for men as well. After examining the photos, he was sent for examination. Only based on the examination results, the specialist can assess the complexity of the case and prescribe appropriate treatment.
Methods of treatment
Nowadays, there is no medicine that can completely and permanently destroy the viral infection in the body. If self-healing does not occur, the most promising is an integrated approach. Treatment for HPV includes surgical removal of papillomas or warts against systemic treatments with medications, homeopathy, and folk remedies. There are several options for destroying growth.
Radio surgery. The formation is removed with a special knife, then a coagulation is performed and a bandage is applied.
Laser. Way not to bleed and painless. A crust remains at the site of removal, whereby healing takes place. The disadvantage is the appearance of scarring.
Freeze capacitors. This process is largely similar to the previous two processes in terms of efficiency, cost and impact effect.
Cryodestruction. Treat growth of any kind with liquid nitrogen. Once frozen, they are rejected by the skin. Affordable price, no blood draw, no scarring makes this method most attractive.
Surgical removal. It is made extremely rare, only as indicated in cases where a possibility of developing cancer is suspected. The growth is removed with a scalpel.
Systemic papillomavirus treatment strengthens the immune system, reduces the concentration of pathogens' DNA in the blood and prevents the development of malignant processes.
Prescribe pills for this purpose:
- immunomodulators; Antiviral drug
The duration of the course of treatment is 10-14 days. If you have a long-term partner, you must persuade him to see him and start therapy. You should also not eliminate growth yourself.
Since the human papillomavirus is contagious among people of any age, there is no guaranteed way to protect against its intrusion. The evidence is that in patient reviews, vaccination is a reliable option for preventing infection.
Modern medicine offers exceptional serum as a preventive measure. The drug is produced in the form of a suspension, in disposable syringes, that facilitate the use of the vaccine and minimize the risk of infection. Girls and boys 9-14 years old, as well as young women through 26 years of age should be vaccinated. The serum is well tolerated by the body.
The vaccination is done with preventive purposes and cannot act as a medicine.
To minimize the risk of developing an infection, you must follow simple recommendations.
- carefully monitors personal hygiene;
- removes bad habits;
- boosts immunity by playing sports;
- only practice protected sex, avoid romantic intercourse;
- takes a careful approach to choosing a sexual partner;
- to be examined by a gynecologist, obstetrician.
Taking your health seriously will help you avoid infection and if the virus gets in you will reduce the chance of spreading.
HPV is the most common infection that no one can protect from. To prevent activation of the virus, preventive measures must be followed and to reduce the risk of developing cancer, consult on a regular schedule and consult a specialist.