Resources for Patients/Consumers
NZ HPV Project
STIEF Professional Advisory Group
World Head & Neck Cancer Day
The 27th of July marks World Head and Neck Cancer Day. Although this type of cancer has traditionally been linked to smoking and heavy drinking, in recent years HPV (human papillomavirus) has become the leading cause.
HPV is one of the world's most widespread viral infections usually resulting from direct skin-to-skin contact during intimate sexual contact with someone who has the virus. In most people the virus is harmless and causes no symptoms. However, in some people, HPV can cause genital warts, and in other people, it may cause abnormal cells which can sometimes lead to precancer or cancer, including cervical, vaginal, vulval, anal, penile and head and neck cancers.
HPV is short for human papillomavirus, the name of a group of viruses that includes more than 150 different types that cause infection on the surface of the skin. More than 40 HPV types infect the anogenital area (vulva, vagina, cervix, penis and anus) and throat (pharynx and larynx) and the majority are sexually transmitted. In most people the virus is harmless and causes no symptoms.
HPV is the 'common cold' of being sexually active. This means that the virus doesn't care who we are, or who we choose to have sex with. Most of us will be sharing HPV with our fellow human beings. The risk of acquiring genital warts and HPV-related cancers can be reduced. Together we can help eliminate the virus for future generations.
Find out the key facts about:
Everything you need to know about HPV is in our information pamphlets and on our website.
Questions about the HPV Vaccine? Find out more about the vaccine here.
Questions about head and neck cancer symptoms? Find out more here.