Low Risk and High Risk HPV
What does -low-risk and high-risk HPV mean? Who is at higher risk for cervical, penile and anal cancer?
Low Risk HPV
This HPV type causes genital warts and benign low-grade cervical cell changes — mild Pap test abnormalities — but are not associated with cervical cancer.
High Risk HPV
This HPV type causes low and high-grade cervical cell changes that are precursors to cervical cancer. It is believed that persistent infection and warts not being treated can lead to cancer in both men and women.
Additional risk factors include:
- Anal sex – Persons who participate in anal sex are at an increased risk
- Smoking – Harmful chemicals increase overall cancer risk including anal cancer
- Immunosuppression – People with weakened immune systems, such as transplant patients who take drugs to suppress their immune systems and patients with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) infection are at higher risk.
- People with chronic local inflammation – People with long-standing anal fistulas or open wounds are at slightly higher risk.
- Pelvic radiation – People who have had pelvic radiation therapy for rectal, prostate, bladder or cervical cancer are at an increased risk.