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National Cervical Cancer Coalition


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 Post subject: Still a little confused
PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 6:57 pm 

Joined: Wed Mar 18, 2009 10:17 am
Posts: 5
Hi Fredo!

Thanks again for taking the time to answer my questions (and everyone else's). It is much appreciated.

I guess I'm still a little confused about high risk hpv and visible warts. I look at a sentence like this from cancer.gov, "These high-risk types of HPV cause growths on the cervix that are usually flat and nearly invisible, as compared with the external warts caused by low-risk types HPV–6 and HPV–11."

And I start thinking... if I have warts on my penis that are flat and very hard to see, does that mean these are high risk and that I will spread high risk hpv to my partner?

From what I understood originally, there are almost never any visible signs of high risk hpv, and so there's not too much sense over worrying about it as long as my girlfriend gets pap smears regularly. But then, since I recently got warts that were flatter and a good deal harder to see than some other warts I have gotten, I started thinking these were high risk warts (which I thought didn't really exist) based on the sentence I quoted above. I assume I'm mistaken, but some further clarification would be nice.

I had a doctor look at the lesions in question and he wasn't sure they were anything at all, but he decided to treat them as warts just in case. I asked if the lesions were cancerous or serious and he assured me they were not.

However, I did not directly ask the Dr. if these lesions, which were flat and hard to see and some you could only really see under light, if these were therefore high risk in terms of their ability to pass on high risk hpv to my girlfriend, which is what I'm always most concerned about... her health.

I assume, as I always had, that if you can actually see something, even if its flat and hard to see, or only really visible under light, that almost always these are just normal low risk warts and do not increase the risk of passing high risk hpv. Furthermore, from what I had understood, one never really can tell if one is passing on high risk hpv because there are almost always literally no visible signs. Am I still correct? The sentence I had quoted earlier from cancer.gov confused me a little.

Thanks for your much appreciated help and clarification, Fredo!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:02 am 
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:08 pm
Posts: 2122
Location: North Carolina
Warts from low-risk HPV can take a variety of shapes, sizes, textures, even colors. Some warts are simply flatter than others, while some tend to be raised. They can be rough or smooth, and so on.

Of course, I can't say if the lesions that are concerning you are related to HPV at all and if so, if high-risk or low-risk types are involved. I can tell you what very strong tendencies are with HPV, and a clear one is that external HPV-related lesions in men that you can see are almost always of the low-risk variety.

As for your partner, keep in mind that high-risk HPV seldom presents a real problem for women; most women with these HPV types never have even a single abnormal Pap test as a result, and the vast majority clear the infection naturally and harmlessly. The key for her is to do what she should be doing regardless, which is having her regular exams and Pap tests as her doctor advises.

Hope this helps!

Fredo

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