This post originally ran on WBURâ€™s CommonHealth. We appreciate WBUR for giving us permission to reprint this article.
It was a typical busy morning. A flurry of people in and out of my office along with a growing stack of slides. I picked up the next slide, a pap smear.
The requisition stated â€ś24 yo, routine pap.â€ť She had no prior history of any abnormalities. As I studied the slide, the normal cervical cells sparkled in shades of blue and pink. Together with their small uniform nuclei, this created an evenness to the slide, like a calm pond.
A mini-tsunami of publicity has been generated by the actor Michael Douglas asserting his throat cancer is due to HPV and, by extension, oral sex. ASHAâ€™s HPV Resource Center has increasingly been fielding questions around oral sex and HPV, and this latest round of publicity has triggered even more interest. So whatâ€™s the scoop here?
Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines are back in the news, and this time for reasons not related to research results that show how effective the vaccines are in preventing HPV infections and related diseases.