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National Cervical Cancer Coalition


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 8:05 am 

Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 5:15 pm
Posts: 17
Location: usa
Hey everyone!

As some of you may know from some of my previous posts, I had a squamous papilloma removed from my tongue a few months ago. Because my dentist didn't request it, the papilloma was never tested for HPV though it's probably pretty safe to assume that it was caused by either HPV-6 or HPV-11. After doing extensive reading, it seems the risk of the papilloma returning are very slim (my dentist said 1%) as are the chances of it causing any future issues (malignancy and such).

One thing I haven't been able to shake however are the fears that I'm also quietly carrying a high risk strain in my mouth which could cause issues down the road. It's caused a great deal of anxiety in my life recently and has affected my relationships with friends, family as well as my job.

Here is my question:

I've been with my wife for nine years. She has assured me that she has never had an abnormal PAP. In 2007 after my sister went through a scary patch with pre-cancerous cells on her cervix, my wife got an HPV test along with her PAP. The HPV test came back negative as well.

Is it safe to say that if a person has a negative HPV test and normal PAPs they are free of high risk strains of HPV? Should this be enough to ease my mind? I have found very little on-line regarding HPV tests and false negatives. The test seems to be fairly accurate.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated!


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 8:52 am 
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:08 pm
Posts: 2122
Location: North Carolina
Hi again,

HPV tests are reliable and the risks of cervical cancer in a woman with a negative test is negligible. The important thing for your wife - or any woman, for that matter - is to continue having recommended cervical cancer screening (Paps, either alone or in combo with an HPV test if appropriate).

I'm sorry this has been so stressful for you, especially the worries you have about the potential of oral HPV. We can only tell you that oral cancers aren't common, and that most HPV infections (whether cervical, oral, or what have you) are not dangerous.

Hope this helps. Post again anytime.

Best,
Fredo

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 10:03 am 

Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 5:15 pm
Posts: 17
Location: usa
Thanks for the quick reply Fredo!

I agree on the importance of regular testing for women. Regular testing saved my sister's life. My wife's going in for her annual this week and is getting a second HPV test mainly to ease my mind.

From all I've been able to read, the HPV test for females is fairly sensitive and extremely accurate when it comes to identifying whether high risk strains of the virus are present (I've read from 90-95% accurate)

Since there are no tests available for men, I guess I have to test vicariously through my wife. I'm assuming that the chances of me being infected with a high risk strain when my wife is apparently not (assuming her test Thursday is negative) is slim. Would you agree?

I know there are exceptions to rules and that nothing can be 100% certain without direct testing, but would you agree that the odds of having a high risk strain despite two negative HPV tests and clear PAPs is small?


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 8:47 am 
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:08 pm
Posts: 2122
Location: North Carolina
I don't know how much you can infer about your own HPV status given your wife's results, but of course her negative HPV tests indicate she either never had "high risk" HPV or if she did, her body has essentially cleared it, which is what normally happens. Men are thought to have similar (perhaps even somewhat higher) rates of HPV clearance.

If in fact you were diagnosed with an oral condyloma or "wart," you are correct in assuming this was almost inevitably due to a "low risk" type. Keep in mind that even if your oral lesion was by chance due to a "high risk" type, such infections seldom cause problems.

Hope this helps.

Fredo

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 3:17 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 5:15 pm
Posts: 17
Location: usa
Thanks again for the quick reply, Fredo! It's greatly appreciated.

Fredo wrote:
I don't know how much you can infer about your own HPV status given your wife's results, but of course her negative HPV tests indicate she either never had "high risk" HPV or if she did, her body has essentially cleared it, which is what normally happens. Men are thought to have similar (perhaps even somewhat higher) rates of HPV clearance.


I guess this is why I said I know that nothing is 100% certain without direct testing. Basically, either my wife has never had high-risk HPV or she's had it and cleared it before being tested. If she has never had it, I could only venture to guess that I've never had it (or had it and cleared it before I met her, in which case, I would have nothing to worry about). Of course there's a chance that we both had it and she cleared it but I did not. Anything could happen.

Fredo wrote:
If in fact you were diagnosed with an oral condyloma or "wart," you are correct in assuming this was almost inevitably due to a "low risk" type. Keep in mind that even if your oral lesion was by chance due to a "high risk" type, such infections seldom cause problems.

Hope this helps.

Fredo


I appreciate the time you spent answer my questions. I truly do. My official diagnosis after biopsy was "squamous papilloma." I'll plead ignorance and admit I'm not sure if an oral condyloma is the same thing or if they're somehow different.


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