Human papillomavirus (HPV) causes most cases of cervical cancer. Cervical cancer not caused by HPV is called HPV-negative cervical cancer and accounts for roughly 5% of all cervical cancer cases.
The statistic above comes from a
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted infection that includes low risk and high risk HPV types. Some types of high risk HPV can cause cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer screening can show whether people have high risk HPV types, which may increase the risk of cervical cancer.
HPV-negative cervical cancer is negative for HPV types relating to cervical cancer. This may occur due to genetic mutations, misclassification of test results, or false-negative test results.
HPV infections are widespread, and there are many different types. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), researchers have identified
Oncogenic HPV is the term for certain types of HPV that can cause cancer.
The immune system typically gets rid of an HPV infection naturally, usually within 2 years of contracting it. However, if someone contracts an oncogenic HPV type that the immune system cannot get rid of, it may lead to cell changes that can lead to cancer.
According to the
HPV results will either be positive or negative. A negative HPV test result means that the test found no high risk HPV types.
A positive result means that the test found high risk types of HPV in the cervix, and people may require further testing.
According to a
A false-negative HPV result means that HPV types relating to cervical cancer are present, but the test does not indicate this.
It is rare for cervical cancer to be truly HPV-negative. The research around HPV testing and cervical cancer suggests the actual rate of HPV-negative cervical cancer may be lower than some estimates propose.
According to the
Some HPV-negative cancers may occur due to false-negative results as a result of the following:
- incorrect classification of results after microscopic examination of tissues and cells of the cervix
- a latent HPV infection due to a dormant HPV infection
- non-high-risk HPV infection causing cervical cancer, which may occur in
1–2%of people with cervical cancer
- HPV testing methods
Can doctors mistakenly diagnose HPV-negative cervical cancer?
Research indicates that doctors misdiagnosed almost
Detailed testing of the tumor and surrounding tissues is important to identify whether the cancer cells are cervical cancer, endometrial cancer, or from another area of the body.
People with HPV-negative cervical cancer
Doctors use the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) staging system to diagnose cervical cancer stages. Doctors may diagnose HPV-negative cervical cancer at an advanced FIGO stage.
Stages of cervical cancer range from
According to a 2022 review, no specific treatment for HPV-negative or positive cervical cancer exists. HPV-negative tumors vary from HPV-positive tumors and may spread to lymph nodes at an earlier stage or to more distant areas of the body.
There is a lack of evidence around HPV-negative cervical cancer treatment and outlook. Researchers require further evidence to assess the best treatment options and factors affecting a person’s outlook.
HPV-negative cervical cancer is rare. It may result from a misdiagnosis of primary cancer, false-negative HPV test results, or a non-HPV-related cause, such as gene mutations.
HPV vaccination can help prevent HPV types that cause cervical cancer, and attending regular cervical cancer screenings can help to detect abnormal changes earlier.