While HPV is an extremely common infection, and there is a link between HPV and cervical,
anal, penile, some vulval and throat cancers, it is important to know that very
few women and men with HPV will ever develop cancer.
Most of the
HPV types that produce
warts on the genitals are not associated with development of cell abnormalities
that progress to cancer.
It is also unlikely that HPV infection alone is sufficient to cause cancer. The HPV
infection is only one event in a multistep pathway to cancer. While many possible
co-factors have been suggested, the relative risks of each have yet to be determined.
However, some of the most commonly implicated co-factors include smoking, and
a weakened immune system.
cervical cancer, there is no current effective screening test for HPV-related
cancers affecting the throat, penile or anal regions.