Genital Warts – Can It Lead to Cancer?
The prevalence of genital warts has increased over the past years and the major concern is if this type of wart can lead to cancer. Genital warts are caused by the Human Papillomavirus or HPV and HPV has many variants, about 40 types of the virus exist.
HPV is known to cause these warts and a different variant may cause cervical infections that may progress to cervical cancer. However, the variant that causes the warts is not the same type that causes cervical cancer. The chances of you developing cancer from the warts are close to impossible. There has been no link that the kind of HPV in genital warts is the same type that causes cancer.
Cancer in the cervix, vagina, or vulva is caused by an HPV infection that if left untreated may progress into cancer. Although warts found in the cervix, vagina, or vulva, cannot progress into cancer. There has been no scientific evidence that the strain of HPV that causes genital warts if left long enough can lead to cancer. This is however not a reason to be complacent about cancer and genital warts. With HPV infecting about 70% of sexually active individuals the chances of contracting these warts or cancer or even both is still high.
HPV does not manifest itself almost all the time, and sometimes it can stay in the body for years. Even after contracting an HPV infection, the virus may still be in the body. There are now vaccines that can prevent HPV infections, especially those variants that can possibly develop into cancer. About the question: genital warts can it lead to cancer?
The answer is a big NO! However, it won’t hurt us to remain vigilant and careful. After all an HPV infection of any type should not be taken lightly. Who knows.