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What is Human Papillomavirus (HPV)?

Description of the disease

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a group of viruses that can cause warts on the skin and mucous membranes of humans. Some types of HPV may be associated with the development of cervical, anal, throat, and other types of cancer.


  • Low-risk HPV, which causes warts but rarely leads to cancer.
  • High-risk HPV, which can cause cervical, anal, throat, and other types of cancer.


For most people, HPV infection is asymptomatic, but some may develop warts on the skin or mucous membranes. In the case of infection with high-risk types of HPV, precancerous changes or cancerous tumors may develop.


HPV infection is transmitted through contact with infected skin or mucous membranes, most commonly through sexual contact.


Diagnosis of HPV includes gynecological examination, cytological study, and molecular-genetic methods. Various methods of examination are used to diagnose HPV-induced cancer.


Treatment of warts caused by HPV may include surgical removal, drug therapy, laser and cryotherapy. Treatment of precancerous conditions and cancer caused by HPV depends on the stage of the disease and may include surgical treatment, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.


Prevention of HPV includes vaccination against HPV, the use of condoms, regular visits to a gynecologist, and adherence to personal hygiene measures.


The doctor who deals with the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of HPV is a gynecologic oncologist or oncodermatologist.

Note: This material is provided solely for informational purposes and is not medical advice.