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What are Human Papilloma Virus Symptoms?

Article Details
  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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The human papilloma virus, or HPV, is a type of virus that tends to cause warts on various parts of the body, including the hands, feet, and genitals. In some cases, this virus can also lead to cervical cancer in females. Many patients do not experience any visible human papilloma virus symptoms. Those who do have symptoms frequently have small warts, particularly in the genital area, and certain forms of cancer can be traced to HPV. Treatment typically consists of topical creams that must be applied by a physician.

Some human papilloma virus symptoms may include the presence of common warts on areas of the body such as the hands and feet. These warts may appear alone or in clusters and are not considered to be contagious. Over-the-counter wart removal medications are often successful in removing this type of wart, although treatment by a doctor is sometimes necessary. Any warts, especially warts appearing in clusters, should be examined by a physician.

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The majority of human papilloma virus symptoms involve the development of genital warts. These warts tend to appear in clusters and may come back even after treatment. HPV is a highly contagious sexually transmitted disease, so safe sex practices are key in preventing the transmission of this disease. The warts may disappear on their own, recurring from time to time. Other cases may require treatment by a doctor, who will typically apply chemicals to the affected area in order to remove or reduce the size of the genital warts.

Surgical intervention may become necessary in order to remove large warts caused by HPV. Traditional surgery to remove the warts is common, although some physicians may prefer newer methods such as laser surgery. In cases where cervical cancer is suspected due to human papilloma virus symptoms, a biopsy may be performed to make an accurate diagnosis. In a biopsy, a small portion of cervical tissue is surgically removed and sent to a laboratory to be tested for the presence of cancerous cells.

HPV is known to cause cervical cancer in some women. Even if there are no visible human papilloma virus symptoms, the virus may cause a routine pap test to come back abnormal. This test is very important in detecting cancer cells in the early stages, when survival rates are the highest. Most forms of cervical cancer are caused by the human papilloma virus, making regular pap smears exceedingly important, especially among sexually active women.

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