HPV Cure – What is It?
Once you have contracted the HPV virus, there is no known cure for it. In many cases, depending upon the strain by which you have been infected, the virus will run its course on its own and your body will be clear of it within a few years. But for some types of HPV, it gets a little more complicated, because they tend to hang around indefinitely weakening your immune system and/or causing you to be vulnerable to more serious disease. But while there is no treatment for the HPV virus itself, there are treatments for certain symptoms or conditions caused by the disease.
If you develop common warts, say on your hands or feet, t hey can often be treated very simply and successfully with over-the-counter medications for wart removal. Or you may wish to have your doctor remove them for you. Many people simply allow common warts to run their course and clear up by themselves. It is important to know that when common warts are cleared or go away, the virus may still be present in your body for some time. That is why warts keep coming back, and often require several treatments before you don’t see symptoms anymore.
Genital warts work in much the same way. There are medications available that your physician can give you to help clear up genital warts. These will also often reappear several times and require treatment more than once. In the vast majority of cases, the appearance of genital warts is not an indication that you are at risk of cancer. The strains of HPV that cause genital warts are generally NOT those strains related to cancer.
If you do contract a strain of HPV that can cause cancer, you will not know it for years. That is why, if you are sexually active at any point in your life, you need to have ongoing and routine health screening for HPV-related conditions. In this sense, HPV treatment is an ongoing process; this is why it is important for women to have regular pap smears during their annual gynecological exams to check for signs of changes in cells on the cervix that may indicate cancer. In early stages, cervical cancer is very treatable by minor surgery and poses minimal risk.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, about 12,000 women are diagnosed yearly with cervical cancer. In at least 70% of these cases, the HPV virus is responsible, and the patient was unknowingly carrying the virus for several years. Since there is no definitive medical test for HPV status, these patients are always unaware that they carry strains of HPV that lead to cervical cancer.
Although the particular strains of HPV that cause serious health conditions are not common, the risk of cancer is serious enough that it is important to educate yourself about HPV and learn what you can do to prevent yourself from being at risk.