Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a group of more than 100 viral infections that spread through sexual contact. Most types do not cause any further health problems, but long lasting forms may lead to certain reproductive cancers. It is unclear if HPV is a risk factor for ovarian cancer specifically.
Cancer develops when cells in the body grow and divide uncontrollably. It usually begins in a small section of the body and spreads to other areas as time goes on.
It is unclear how prevalent HPV is, as most people with the infection do not realize that they have it. Research suggests that more than 80% of sexually active people will have HPV at some point in their lives.
According to the
This article examines whether or not HPV can cause ovarian cancer. It also looks at HPV’s relationship with cervical cancer, what the risk factors are, and when to contact a doctor.
Ovarian cancer is a form of gynecological cancer. It is the
Because of this, the person may not receive treatment until later on, by which time the cancer will likely already have spread to other parts of the body.
Healthcare professionals believe that ovarian cancer starts at the ends of the fallopian tubes and develops into the ovaries as it grows.
There are three main types of cells in the ovaries where cancer can begin. These are the:
- epithelial cells, which are cells on the outer lining of the ovaries
- germ cells, which are cells that form eggs
- stromal cells, which are hormone-releasing cells that connect the different ovarian structures
Currently, there is no substantial evidence that demonstrates an association between HPV and ovarian cancer.
Cervical cancer is another type of gynecological cancer. According to one recent article, this is the
The article also states that more than 500,000 women around the world receive a cervical cancer diagnosis each year. The CDC says that this includes
In the U.S., African American and Hispanic women and those in areas with fewer resources have significantly higher mortality rates. This is likely due to an uneven distribution of healthcare.
Cervical cancer may present with visible lesions. However, there are not usually any symptoms or visible tumors during the early stages. This can make it difficult to identify and diagnose without screening.
According to the CDC, women aged 21–65 years should attend regular screenings for cervical cancer. However, although this may reduce the chance of cervical cancer developing or worsening, it does not eliminate the risk.
Research suggests that
The virus spreads through skin-to-skin contact from:
- sexual intercourse
- oral sex
- hand-to-genital contact
Some risk factors for HPV include:
- having multiple sexual partners
- using only oral birth control
- having other genital infections
- having herpes simplex virus
- having HIV
Despite having links with other gynecological cancers, HPV may not increase the likelihood of developing ovarian cancer.
Some known risk factors for ovarian cancer include:
- having a family history of ovarian cancer
- having a family history of breast cancer
- being postmenopausal
- never being pregnant
Adults aged 27–45 years who were not previously vaccinated may also choose to do so based on a doctor’s determination of their risk of new HPV infections and potential benefits.
Regardless of the cause, ovarian cancer
It is important that a person contacts a doctor if they are concerned that they may have ovarian cancer.
HPV is a group of infections that spread through skin-to-skin contact among sexually active people. The virus is common and usually goes away on its own. However, if it does not, it can cause further health complications, including genital warts, cervical pre-cancer, and cervical cancer.
Current research suggests an unlikelihood of HPV infections causing ovarian cancer. The most common cancer to develop from HPV is cervical cancer.
People can reduce their risk of developing cervical cancer by getting vaccinated. Vaccination is available for people aged
A person should talk with a doctor about when to receive the HPV vaccine.
There is currently no significant evidence to suggest a relationship between HPV and the development of ovarian cancer.