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HPV: Crucial Facts Your Doctor Didnt Tell You (But We Do!

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Written by Simon Campbell 2011 HPV: What Is It? You should understand your enemy if you are to adequately fight him. In the case of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), one should understand it. For that to happen, you need to know primarily what it is and what it is not. As its name suggests, the Human Papillomavirus is a virus of which, there are about two hundred known strains. It comes from a family of viruses, which are able to infect humans. Papillomaviruses establish infections in either the skin or the mucous membranes of their hosts. Most HPV infections cause no symptoms whatsoever. The strains that do, however, can cause Genital Warts as well as several different sorts of cancer including cancers of the cervix, vulva, vagina and anus. The HPV virus can also cause rarer cancers in men and these include penile and anal cancers. Certain cancers of the head including the tongue, tonsils and throat have been linked to HPV infection. Most people infected with HPV dont know it because they do not exhibit any signs or symptoms. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Most people with HPV do not develop symptoms or health problems from it. In 90% of cases, the bodys immune system clears HPV naturally within two years. Nevertheless, sometimes, HPV infections are not cleared and can cause: Genital warts Rarely, warts in the throat -- a condition called recurrent respiratory papillomatosis, or RRP.

When this occurs in children, it is called juvenile-onset RRP (JORRP). Cervical cancer and other, less common but serious cancers, including cancers of the vulva, vagina, penis, anus, and oropharynx (back of throat including base of tongue and tonsils).

The types of HPV that can cause genital warts are not the same as the types that can cause cancers. There is no way to know which people who get HPV will go on to develop cancer or other health problems. The strains that cause Genital Warts are known as low-risk, while the ones causing various cancers are known as high-risk. The following are signs and symptoms of an HPV infection. If you develop any of these, you should see a doctor. Signs and symptoms of HPV-related problems: Genital warts usually appear as a small bump or group of bumps in the genital area. They can be small or large, raised or flat, or shaped like a cauliflower. Health care providers can diagnose warts by looking at the genital area during an office visit. Warts can appear within weeks or months after sexual contact with an infected partnereven if the infected partner has no signs of genital warts. If left untreated, genital warts might go away, remain unchanged, or increase in size or number. They will not turn into cancer. Cervical cancer usually does not have symptoms until it is quite advanced. For this reason, it is important for women to get regular screening for cervical cancer. Screening tests can find early signs of disease so that problems can be treated early, before they ever turn into cancer. Other HPV-related cancers might not have signs or symptoms until they are advanced and hard to treat. These include cancers of the vulva, vagina, penis, anus, and oropharynx (back of throat including base of tongue and tonsils). For signs and symptoms of these cancers, see www.cancer.gov . RRP is a condition in which warts grow in the throat. These growths can sometimes block the airway, causing a hoarse voice or troubled breathing. (CDC) Who Gets HPV? Since HPV is the most prevalent of sexually transmitted infections, practically anyone can get it. In fact, most methods used to prevent other sexually transmitted diseases do not work with HPV. For instance, condoms do not help prevent HPV since it is transmitted through any intimate, skin-to-skin contact.

It can be passed on between straight and same-sex partnerseven when the infected partner has no signs or symptoms.

A person can have HPV even if years have passed since he or she had sexual contact with an infected person. Most infected persons do not realize they are infected or that they are passing the virus on to a sex partner. It is also possible to get more than one type of HPV. Rarely, a pregnant woman with genital HPV can pass HPV to her baby during delivery. Very rarely, the child can develop juvenile-onset recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (JORRP). (CDC) The good news is that your bodys immune system has the potential to fight off an HPV infection all by itself, naturally without any medical intervention. In fact, the following numbers from the American Cancer Society show just how small a percentage of women (and an even smaller percentage of men) actually acquires a persistent, chronic HPV infection, which leads to cancer. For instance, in 2011 it is estimated that 12,000 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer. Of those, it is expected that 4,000 will die from it. To really get a good idea of how tiny these numbers are, look at the following hypothetical numbers: There are an estimated 307,006,550 people in the United States. Lets divide this number by 2, which will give us the 50% of people who could acquire an HPV infection sometime during their lives. That leaves us with 153,503,275 people that will likely be infected with HPV. So, lets divide 153,503,275 by 2 assuming that of this number, half are women. This leaves us with 76,751,637. Of those, only 12,000 will be diagnosed with cervical cancer caused by HPV, and of those, 4,000 will die. Thats 0.02% (rounded up) diagnosed with cervical cancer. Of that number, 33.3% will die. Thats 0.005% of the numbers of HPV infected women in America. Obviously, just one person dying is too many. However, you can see from the numbers that HPV caused cervical cancer deaths are extremely low. Lets look at the numbers for men. Again, assuming that half of the 153,503,275 people infected with HPV are men that leaves us with 76,751,637 people. Of those, around 5,000 might be diagnosed with anal cancer. Of those, 770 will die. Thats 0.01% (rounded up) of those men infected with HPV that are diagnosed with anal cancer. Of that

extremely small number, 15.4% will die. In overall numbers, which means of those men infected with HPV, 0.001% will actually die.

Disease risk is disproportionately high in certain populations however, such as gay and bisexual men, and individuals with weak immune systems (including those who have HIV/AIDS). Efforts at prevention and awareness in these communities should be heightened and stressed at every opportunity. In fact, Men who have sex with men are about 17 times more likely to develop anal cancer than men who only have sex with women. (CDC) The percentages given above are actually very high. What about REAL numbers? The CDC says that: Approximately 20 million Americans are currently infected with HPV. Another 6 million people become newly infected each year. That means at any given time, theres actually only about 10 million women infected with HPV. What About Those That DO Get Infected and Develop Symptoms? The best possible offense against HPV is a good defense. Twenty million people, although statistically very small is still, when you think about it, a lot of people. Prevention, as with any sexually transmitted disease, is highly preferable to medical treatment after infection. However, prevention of an HPV infection can be difficult. This is because the only sure method of preventing an infection is to abstain from all sexual, or intimate skin-to-skin contact. The other, more likely way to prevent it is to have a longterm, sexually monogamous relationship with someone who is also monogamous. Finally, there are two vaccines that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in preventing HPV infections. Well cover these more and in depth a little later. How Are HPV Infections Detected and Diagnosed? A doctor can usually diagnose Genital Warts through a physical examination. Most Genital Warts are easily diagnosed through a visual inspection. HPV cancer is more difficult and requires certain tests. Since cervical cancer is the most common HPV caused cancer, most tests are designed to check for the presence of high-risk HPV in cervical cells.

These tests are called HPV DNA tests, and the CDC says that they look for viral DNA from multiple high-risk HPV types and can detect the presence of a viral infection before any cell abnormalities become visible.

The FDA has approved HPV DNA tests for follow-up testing of women with equivocal cell abnormalities on a Pap test (a screening test to detect cervical cell changes). HPV DNA tests are also approved for general cervical cancer screening of women over age 30 when done together with a Pap test. There are currently no approved tests to detect HPV infections in men. What About Treating an HPV Infection? Although there are a number of ways to prevent becoming infected, once infected there are only medications and procedures that treat the symptoms of an HPV infection. There is no FDA approved cure, or treatment for the HPV virus itself. For women, there are sometimes painful surgeries designed to remove cervical lesions or warts. One of these is called LEEP, and is an electrosurgical excision procedure. Another method is to freeze the warts through cryosurgery that destroys the infected tissue. Yet another method is called conization, which is a surgery that removes a cone shaped piece of tissue from the cervix or cervical canal. The drawback to these procedures, again, is that they only treat the symptoms. Because the individual is still infected with the HPV virus, it is entirely possible that the warts or lesions will grow back and these costly procedures would have to be redone. What About These Vaccines Again? The CDC says this: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved two vaccines to prevent HPV infection: Gardasil and Cervarix. Both vaccines are highly effective in preventing infections with HPV types 16 and 18, two high-risk HPVs that cause about 70 percent of cervical and anal cancers. Gardasil also prevents infection with HPV types 6 and 11, which cause 90 percent of genital warts. What theyre not telling you is that of these two vaccines, only Gardasil has been approved for use in boys. In addition, while they do tell you that both vaccines are highly effective they dont tell you what they mean by that.

Heres the information the CDC (and most doctors) dont tell you. The Gardasil vaccine is produced by Merck & Co., Inc. It is called a quadrivalent vaccine because it protects against four HPV types: 6, 11, 16, and 18. Gardasil is

given through a series of three injections into muscle tissue over a 6-month period. (Cancer.gov) The vaccine is not designed to treat existing HPV infections. Thus, you or your kids have to be vaccinated before an infection occurs. Moreover, if you are allergic to yeast or if you are pregnant, you cannot take Gardasil. The Gardasil website says the following regarding its product: The side effects include pain, swelling, itching, bruising, and redness at the injection site, headache, fever, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, and fainting. Fainting can happen after getting GARDASIL. Sometimes people who faint can fall and hurt themselves. For this reason, your health care professional may ask you to sit or lie down for 15 minutes after you get GARDASIL. Some people who faint might shake or become stiff. This may require evaluation or treatment by your health care professional. In addition, the CDC reports that, there have been a total of 20,096 reports of adverse events following Gardasil vaccination: 19,075 reports among females and 569 reports for males, of which 504 reports were received after the vaccine was licensed for males in October 2009. In terms of boys, most doctors are not giving out information that cancers caused by HPV in men are largely due to homosexual activity, and the burden of disease resides in males who engage in oral and anal sex with other men. Again, as stated earlier, Men who have sex with men are about 17 times more likely to develop anal cancer than men who only have sex with women. (CDC) Finally, the cost of Gardasil can be prohibitive. Each dose is around $150.00. One must receive three doses to become completely immunized. You do the math.

What About Cervarix? The Cervarix vaccine is produced by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). It is called a bivalent vaccine because it targets two HPV types: 16 and 18. This vaccine is also given in three doses over a 6-month period. (Cancer.gov) Many of the things that can be said of Gardasil hold true for Cervarix. This is especially true in terms of potential side effects. However, there are some studies that show Cervarix to be more effective over the long term than Gardasil.

Cervarix has shown effectiveness up to seven years after vaccination while Gardasil has only shown 5 years. [1] Cancer.gov goes on to say of the vaccines: Overall, about 30 percent of cervical cancers will not be prevented by these vaccines. Also, in the case of Gardasil, 10 percent of genital warts will not be prevented by the vaccine. Neither vaccine prevents other sexually transmitted diseases, nor do they treat HPV infection or cervical cancer. Because the vaccines do not protect against all HPV infections that cause cervical cancer, it is important for vaccinated women to continue to undergo cervical cancer screening. There could be some future changes in recommendations for vaccinated women. Other HPV facts include evidence that most children do not actively engage in sexual activity (which is how HPV is spread) and thus, given the statistics combined with cost and potential problems with vaccines, the motivation behind recommendations by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices in regards to the HPV vaccines could be suspect. This is especially the case since it is well known that most people infected with HPV overcome the infection naturally. Their own immune systems fight off the infection. Only in a small percentage of people do cellular changes occur which could lead to various cancers. "If it works, it's great; if it has side effects we don't yet know about, it could be bad," said Dr. George Davis, a physician at the Callan Family Care Center in Copake, "Although it has been tested for FDA approval, we sometimes don't know all of the side effects until a certain amount of time has passed," he said. (indenews.com).

Are There Alternatives? There is always research going on. New products are always in development. Some are in the midst of scientific studies, clinical trials etc. while others have entered the market as natural supplements or remedies. Researchers at NCI and elsewhere are studying how high-risk HPV types cause precancerous changes in normal cells and how these changes can be prevented or managed most efficiently. Most of this research has focused on cervical cells in women, but researchers are now investigating these questions in other tissues in which HPV may cause cancer, such as the oropharynx and anus. (Cancers.gov)

Another prevention strategy that is being explored is topical microbicides. Carrageenan, a compound that is extracted from a type of seaweed and used widely in foods and other products, has been found to inhibit HPV infection in laboratory studies. Clinical trials are under way to test whether a topical microbicide that contains carrageenan can prevent genital HPV infection. (Cancers.gov) For Genital Warts, there are products on the market that are mostly topical ointments or creams that claim to kill the warts, or remove them in one manner or another. The following is a list of ten of these products together with their manufacturers descriptions. Dermasil : is an over-the-counter treatment against a variety of warts such as genital, vaginal, venereal, anal, plantar, flat and common warts. Made by Natures Innovation, Inc., a healthcare company focused on highly innovative all natural formulation of healthcare products, Dermisil is an alternative healing solution that uses all-natural active ingredients that are meant to kill the warts virus causing them to dry up and wither away.

Wartrol: The Watrol Homeopathic Wart Relief is one of the best nonprescriptive treatments against warts on the market. The product comes from Market Health Inc, a proud member of the Natural Products Association thats dedicated to delivering innovative and premium quality health and beauty products around the world since its founding in 2002.

Wart Mole Vanish: The Wart Mole Vanish promises no daily application of creams or oils. The website claims the product is the worlds only safe

all-natural 20-minute single application against moles, skin tags, syringoma and warts.

Wart DX: is an effective over-the-counter genital wart remover made and marketed by the Derma Research company that delivers health care products backed by their strong cutting-edge research and development work in the health sector to release into markets only the finest and most effective products for the treatment they promise. PediFix Wart Stick: The PediFix Wart STICK is an over-the-counter medication exclusively formulated to contain 40% salicylic acid, the most effective ingredient for removing all strains of virus-caused warts.

DermaSeptic: is a revolutionary patented handheld electronic skincare device with a microprocessor that delivers anti-viral anti-microbial silver into the skin for treating embarrassing skin disorders like acne, warts, cold sores and other herpes viral outbreaks on the skin. Warts No More: is a family of over-the-counter treatments proven to safely eliminate warts (genital, plantar, flat, body) without the usual scarring. It is made from a blend of 100% natural essential oils from organic herbal extracts grown in remote region in North American mountains. The product is made and marketed by Herpes.com, which is owned by the Florida-based Global Health Services Inc. and is a leading health care provider in treating herpes-caused ailments. Heal Warts: is specially formulated with natural ingredients to eliminate all forms of warts without irritation and scarring. Its another heal product from the Healing Natural Oils, a company that has been in the healthcare industry for 15 years now with products that use only essential oil extracts for natural botanicals, free of harmful pesticides and fertilizers. Viratrol: is an all-natural homeopathic solution formulated to enhance the immune system. It is made and distributed by the MicroNutra Health team that is committed to delivering healthcare and beauty products in support of a healthy lifestyle. The product works in 2 ways: 1) it primarily acts as a preventive food supplement that strengthens the immune system to fend off viral attacks like the HPV that causes warts and reduces future risks of viral outbreaks; 2) next, it relieves any pain and discomfort associated with current HPV infection.

AntiWarts: is a non-prescriptive online do-it-yourself treatment method to get rid of genital warts. It is made and marketed by the Wisconsin-based Herbal Freak, LLC, considered one of the finest health and beauty network providing high-quality high-value products to the heath-conscious markets around the world composed mainly of minerals, vitamins and other nutritional food supplements.

One thing you may notice is that all of the above treat the outward, Genital Wart symptoms of an HPV infection. Not one of them goes after the cause. While the vaccines do target particular strains of the HPV virus, they too are not a cure. However, you can lower the numbers of the latent HPV virus in your system, which helps lower your risk for developing Genital Warts, Cervical Cancer or for any of the other cancers potentially caused by HPV.

The key to your health is to reduce the level of the chronic viruses in your body to harmless levels. There are no known medications or supplements that can completely eradicate these viruses, except in rare cases where your immune system recovers. Dr. Hanan Polansky In fact, one other product has been on the market for over three years that is designed to boost the immune system against a latent HPV viral infection. Developed by biotechnology company, polyDNA, this all natural, HPV remedy boosts the immune system against the latent HPV virus through a scientifically designed, patented formula. The product is called Gene-Eden-VIR. polyDNA claims that the product is highly effective against latent viruses with each ingredient being selected through a scientific approach. PolyDNA scientists scanned thousands of scientific and medical papers published in various medical and scientific journals around the world in order to identify the safest, most effective natural ingredients that target the latent (chronic) Human Papilloma virus. You can easily access these scientific papers on the ingredients of Gene-EdenVIR on pubmed.gov, and you can find a select few on the Gene-Eden website itself. Gene-Eden combines several proven substances that work harmoniously to help boost the bodys own immune system or have other antiviral properties. The scientific data with regard to the immune enhancing and antiviral properties published in reputable sources on each individual compound in the Gene-Eden formula is impressive. Use of this product clearly has scientific merit based on published material. Dr. Norman Cohen, M.D.

In a nice touch, the company actually publishes all its ingredients and makes sure to note that Gene-Eden-VIR is extremely safe. In over three years of being in the marketplace, there have been no reported side effects. Moreover, each Gene-Eden-VIR capsule contains a patented formula of five all natural ingredients including selenium, camellia sinesis extract, quercetin, cinnamomum extract, and licorice extract. In addition, each bottle is GMP Certified. The only drawback at this point is that the product is not FDA approved, and so it is sold as an all-natural remedy to HPV.

However, if you asked yourself: "If I was looking for the ultimate antiviral supplement today, right now, this very minute, what characteristics would it have?" And you answered:

It would be broad spectrum (it fights more than one type of virus) It would be science based (No hocus pocus or magical formulas with outrageous claims) It would be something with proven results It would be ALL-NATURAL It would be worth the cost

You would likely end up looking into Gene-Eden-VIR. Much of the research and technology behind the product can be traced to the Microcompetition Theory put forth by Dr. Hanan Polansky in his Purple Book (which is available as a free download from the Center for the Biology for Chronic Disease [CBCD].) You also have to bear in mind that Gene-Eden-VIR is the ONLY all-natural, antiviral supplement backed by scientific literature published with the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health. Yet another benefit of the Gene-Eden-VIR product is its affordability. Even those on the extreme low end of the economic ladder can afford this remedy. Unlike the HPV vaccine, which costs well into the hundreds of dollars, GeneEden-VIR is marketed and sold for only $34.99 per bottle (about a months supply.)

Where Can You Get More Information? http://www.cdc.gov http://www.cancer.gov http://www.cancer.org http://www.cbcd.net Learn More About the HPV Remedy: Gene-Eden-VIR HERE References:
[1] Romanowski B. Long term protection against cervical infection with the human papillomavirus: review of currently available vaccines. Human Vaccines 2011; 7(2):161169. [PubMed Abstract]