Spire Elland Hospital offers cervical screening services and HPV testing and vaccination to private patients.
Each year in the UK over 2,800 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer
HPV Explained by Consultant Gynaecologist Mr Cheng Choy, Spire Elland Hospital
What is HPV?
Human papilloma virus (HPV) infection is a sexually transmitted virus. There are around 15 types which can cause cervical cancer. In addition there are a number of types which can cause genital warts. It is estimated that HPV types 16 and 18 cause about 70% of cases cervical cancer while HPV types 6 and 11 cause 90% of genital warts.
How common is cervical cancer?
According to Cancer Research UK, each year in the UK, over 2,800 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer. About 4.4million women are invited for cervical screening each year.
How common is the HPV virus?
HPV is easily transmitted by genital skin-to-skin contact mainly through sexual activity. Whilst not everyone who is infected with HPV develops cervical cancer, it is still a very common virus.
Does a routine smear test pick up HPV?
No. The NHS does not test for HPV during the normal smear test. If a smear test identifies abnormalities which may point to HPV, a screen for high risk types of HPV can be performed.
Does the virus affect men as well as women?
Men can have HPV, but most who do never develop any symptoms or health problems. However, some types of HPV can cause genital warts and other types are possible causes of penile or anal cancer.
Can boys be vaccinated?
Boys can be treated with the same vaccine as girls. This is not currently available on the NHS, but boys aged between 9 and 15 can receive the vaccine at many Spire hospitals. Call 01422 324069 for further information.
How long does the vaccination last?
The results of the vaccination programme may not be noticed for at least 10 years or more. Current evidence suggests that the HPV vaccine offers 100% protection, which lasts for at least 5 years, although some research suggests that it will last a lifetime.
If you would like further information on cervical screening, the vaccine, or testing for HPV, contact Spire Elland Hospital on 01422 324069 or complete our online enquiry form.