Is a test available to test men for HPV?
Actually there is no test that is recommended for men. Tests marketed are geared towards women to help them prevent and screen for cervical cancer. These tests used on women would not be effective means to find out if men have related cancers or genital warts. The test for genital warts is simply done by vision. Sometimes the warts can be so small to the eye that an application of a vinegar solution will help them stand out. Anal cancer is a possible result from HPV but it is not a recommended to be screened; however, experts have believed that yearly anal cancer screening especially for gay, bisexual and those that are HIV positive. The latter mentioned population of men are at a much higher risk of anal cancer. Again, no approved test should be used to confirm genital warts. There is not a test that tells the user their overall HPV status. Thankfully, HPV is cleared 90% of the time but whether or not you will clear HPV or not probably depends on the strengths and weaknesses of your unique genetic immune system makeup. Some people’s immune system may be stronger at riding them of colds but make them more susceptible to HPV causing them to manifest with genital warts. If you encounter something abnormal on your penis, scrotum and anus area or if you find warts, blisters, sores, ulcers or white patches in your genital areas including anus make sure to make an appointment with your primary care physician, even if they don’t hurt.
Why is it important for women to get tested?
The fact is that HPV can cause cervical cancer is women which is the number one killing cancer for women within the U.S; however, it is preventable! Each year there are ~12,000 new cases and about 4,300 deaths due to cervical cancer. Tests can and will determine the risk level a woman is at for cancer. There are two types of tests to be done when considering HPV in women. The most recognizable test and recommended test for women is the pap smear test. It is recommend that all women over the age of 30 to get this test on a routine basis. In addition, women that are sexually active should be tested at least every 3 years. Women over age 65 no longer need such urgent checks if they have normal results on a pap smear.
The pap test works by taking a swab of cervical cells from the woman. The study of the cells for pre-cancerous growths occurs via cytology. A newer test is suggested in addition to regular checks to help lower risk of the disease by a factor of 3. The test is known as “HPV testing” and instead of using cytology it is a test of your unique DNA. A study has shown that those women that get both tests have experienced fewer cancers. Considering the fact that further testing can prevent a life threatening cancer, why not get both tests? Some opinion suggests that getting two tests is over treating the patient. The newer “HPV testing” also detects strains of HPV that are likely to be cleared by the hosts immune system. This detection may cause unnecessary concern or worry in the patient when worry or concern isn’t warranted. If you are concerned about your HPV status and cancerous susceptibility, why not be safer and get both tests? To your health.