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The human papillomavirus (HPV) is a very common virus. There are many types of HPV. Some types cause the common skin wart. Other types cause genital warts, which can be spread by sexual contact. Some types can increase the risk of certain cancers, such as cervical or anal cancer. Having one type of HPV doesn't lead to having another type. There is a vaccine that can protect you against HPV. Ask your doctor for more information.
Many people who have HPV don't know that they're infected. It's often found with a cervical cancer screening test, such as an HPV test.
If an HPV screening test finds that you have a type of HPV that might lead to cancer, your doctor may suggest more tests. This doesn't mean you'll get cancer. But it means that you may have an increased risk. Abnormal cell changes caused by HPV often go away on their own. If they don't, they can be treated.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter F690 in the search box to learn more about "Human Papillomavirus (HPV): Care Instructions".
Adaptation Date: 8/19/2022
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
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