Empower Yourself with Knowledge and Action: Natural History of HPV Infection and Progression to Cervical Cancer

Empower Yourself with Knowledge and Action: Natural History of HPV Infection and Progression to Cervical Cancer 1

Natural History of HPV Infection and Progression to Cervical Cancer

As we continue our mission with CerviQ to provide FREE cervical cancer screenings across various communities in the Philippines, supported by local government units and non-governmental organizations, we’re witnessing a concerning trend. Approximately 5% of the screened population in every locality or sector we visit is VIA positive.

Our cervical cancer screening approach blends the traditional VIA method with cutting-edge technology, courtesy of the innovative Cerviray AI device. Developed by Aidot and distributed by Remediplus Solutions Company, this state-of-the-art colposcope employs artificial intelligence (objective finding) in addition to a medical specialist to enhance accuracy and efficiency. With results given the same day and a repository of images for future reference or referrals for treatment, we’re revolutionizing cervical screening in the Philippines.

Yet, beyond the technology lies a profound concern for your health and well-being. Many of our patients who “VIA POSITIVE” evaluation express confusion and worry, seeking guidance on understanding the significance of HPV in the progression to cervical cancer, thus in doing so learning how they can help improve health outcomes.

In response, we share invaluable insights from reputable sources like Medscape (https://www.medscape.org/viewarticle/732536_transcript), shedding light on the natural history of HPV infection and its progression to cervical cancer.

 Empower Yourself with Knowledge and Action: Natural History of HPV Infection and Progression to Cervical Cancer 2

TRANSCRIPT:

Cervical cancer is the paradigm for an HPV-associated malignancy, and we know most of what we know about HPV natural history from cervical HPV natural history studies. The majority of women who become infected clear the virus within about 8 to 12 months. The majority have no detectable abnormalities on cervical Pap screening. But some women will have CIN 1, or a low-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia, most of which, again, resolve to cleared HPV infection.

It’s actually a minority of people who go on to persistent HPV infection with development of CIN 2/3, or high-grade cervical dysplasia. From studies looking at the prevalence of HPV infection and comparing that to the age of incidence of cervical cancer, it’s estimated that the latency between infection and development of cervical cancer is on average from 15 to 20 years.

 

WHERE WE ARE AND WHAT WE NEED TO DO

According to Medscape, the majority of individuals with CIN 1 (early dysplasia, or P1), shed the virus within 8 to 12 months. To bolster your defenses, we strongly advocate for HPV vaccinations such as HPV 4 or HPV 9, proven to mitigate progression risks. Additionally, lifestyle modifications such as quitting smoking, regular exercise, and stress reduction can bolster overall immunity.

For those in the CIN 2/3 category (high-risk dysplasia, or P2), your path forward involves regular check-ups and strong consideration of HPV vaccination, particularly HPV 9 if feasible. Encouragingly, research indicates that a significant percentage of patients in this group experience regression to normalcy. Should follow-up visits prove challenging, rest assured that the SCREEN and TREAT protocol using thermal ablation offers swift and pain-free treatments and is often covered by PhilHealth at accredited centers.

Together, we can defy the odds stacked against cervical cancer. Let’s arm ourselves with knowledge, embrace preventive measures, and advocate for accessible healthcare services. Your health is your most precious asset—let’s safeguard it together.

Join us in the fight against cervical cancer.

Dr. Bogs Rivera