World Head & Neck Cancer Day

Just the Facts About HPV

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.

Read on below to find out why HPV affects almost all of us at some time in our life.

What is HPV?

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.

ABOUT HPV


 

 

 

HPV Prevention

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.

ABOUT PREVENTION


 

 

Just the Facts about Throat Cancer

Find out the key facts about:

  • Oral HPV infection
  • Whether oral HPV can be transmitted to others
  • HPV vaccination
  • Further information & support

ABOUT THROAT CANCER

 


Find out more

Everything you need to know about HPV is in our information pamphlets and on our website.

READ OUR PAMPHLETS

Vaccination

Questions about the HPV Vaccine? Find out more about the vaccine here.

HPV VACCINE

Other resources

Questions about head and neck cancer symptoms? Find out more here.

OTHER RESOURCES

About HPV Virus

About HPV Virus

HPV is thought to be the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the world, and most people are infected with HPV at some time in their…
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HPV Key Facts

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Papilloma is a word that means a small wart-like growth on the skin or mucous membrane. There are many types of papilloma infections - even some that…
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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…
HPV & Throat Cancer

HPV & Throat Cancer

HPV is transmitted to your mouth by oral sex. It may also be possible to get oral HPV in other ways. An increased number of oral sex partners…
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Some types of HPV are linked to abnormal cell changes on the cervix which place women at higher risk of abnormal cervical smears and developing…
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HPV & Other Cancers

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FAQ

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Frequently asked questions and key facts about HPV – Human Papillomavirus – FAQ's
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The emotional impact of finding out that you or your partner has an STI can sometimes be worse than the actual infection. It’s really important to…