HPV Key Facts
HPV & Cancer
HPV & Throat Cancer
HPV & Cervical Cancer
HPV & Other Cancers
HPV & Relationships
Some types of HPV are linked to abnormal cell changes on the cervix which increases the risk of having abnormal cervical smears and developing cervical cancer. However, only a very small number of people with HPV infection are at risk of cervical smear abnormalities or cervical cancer. HPV is a common infection and is often cleared by our own immune system.
The types of HPV linked to cervical cancer are not usually the same types of HPV that cause genital warts. A woman with genital warts, like any person with a cervix who has even been sexually active (including women with female partner(s) and trans-men who have not had genital affirming surgery), should have regular cervical screening/smear tests as advised by health professionals.
HPV vaccination and having regular cervical screening are the best safeguards against developing cervical cancer.
Cervical screening (also known as a Pap smear), in conjunction with HPV DNA tests where indicated, is a screening tool for detecting early changes occurring in the cervix which, if untreated or ignored, could progress over years to cancer. Cervical screening will detect abnormal cells present on the surface of the cervix. Cancer almost always can be prevented through the early detection and treatment of abnormal cervical tissue.