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How common is human papillomavirus (HPV)?

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HPV infection is extremely common; most sexually active people will be infected with HPV at some point in life. HPV infection usually causes no symptoms, but can cause genital warts and anal cancer in both women and men. HPV can also cause throat cancer.

In women, HPV infection can cause cells in the cervix to grow abnormally. In a small fraction of women, these HPV-induced changes will develop into cervical cancer. About 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year and about 4,000 women die from the condition.

From: HPV Vaccine for Adults WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

CDC web site: ''Cervical Cancer Statistics,'' ''HPV Vaccine -- Questions & Answers;'' ''Genital HPV Infection --Fact Sheet;'' ''ACIP Recommendations on HPV;'' ''Human Papillomavirus (HPV);''  "HPV and Oropharyngeal Cancer - Fact Sheet;" and "Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report," June 25, 2014.

National Cancer Institute web site: ''Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccines.''

Merck web site: Gardasil package insert prescribing information.

GlaxoSmithKline web site: Cervarix package insert prescribing information.

Koutsky, L. , 1997. The American Journal of Medicine

Syrjanen, K. 1990. Sexually Transmitted Diseases,

FDA: "FDA approves Gardasil 9 for prevention of certain cancers caused by five additional types of HPV."

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on March 27, 2017

SOURCES:

CDC web site: ''Cervical Cancer Statistics,'' ''HPV Vaccine -- Questions & Answers;'' ''Genital HPV Infection --Fact Sheet;'' ''ACIP Recommendations on HPV;'' ''Human Papillomavirus (HPV);''  "HPV and Oropharyngeal Cancer - Fact Sheet;" and "Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report," June 25, 2014.

National Cancer Institute web site: ''Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccines.''

Merck web site: Gardasil package insert prescribing information.

GlaxoSmithKline web site: Cervarix package insert prescribing information.

Koutsky, L. , 1997. The American Journal of Medicine

Syrjanen, K. 1990. Sexually Transmitted Diseases,

FDA: "FDA approves Gardasil 9 for prevention of certain cancers caused by five additional types of HPV."

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on March 27, 2017

NEXT QUESTION:

Why should adults get the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

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