Genital Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted
infection (STI). More than 40 different types are known to exist. Genital HPV is most commonly found in the genital areas of both males and females, but can also infect the mouth and throat. Most people infected with HPV don’t know they have it. However, genital HPV can cause cancer of the cervix and other less common but
serious cancers of the vulva, vagina, penis, and anus. A test called a Pap smear can detect the abnormal HPV infections that cause cervical cancer in women. Other types of non-sexually transmitted HPV exist and can cause common warts, often on hands and feet.
Almost all cervical cancers are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). Most HPV infections resolve on their own, but occasionally, HPV causes pre-cancerous conditions, called Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia (CIN) and Adenocarcinoma In Situ (AIS). These, too, often disappear by themselves, but can sometimes turn into cervical cancer after anywhere from 5 to 20 years. Regular Pap smears help doctors and other healthcare practitioners detect the precancerous conditions and treat them, preventing them from becoming cancer.
The HPV vaccines can help prevent cervical cancer. They prevent infection by two HPV subtypes (16 and 18) that cause most cases of cervical cancer. To be most effective, HPV vaccine should be given to young girls and boys beginning at age 9 years, well before they become sexually active. Vaccine can be given to people up to age 24 years, but is not as effective when given after a person has already become sexually active.
As of January 1, 2012, all pathology laboratories in Oregon are required to make periodic, direct electronic reports of certain pre-malignant conditions to the Oregon State Cancer Registry (see Oregon Administrative Rule 333-010-0032). These newly reportable conditions include all biopsies indicative of high grade squamous intraepithelial lesions, adenocarcinoma of the uterine cervix, vagina and vulva, and carcinoma in situ of the anus.
To help assess the burden of HPV-related problems like cervical cancer and precancerous conditions on Oregonians, the Oregon Public Health Division collects information from laboratories in Oregon about pre-cancerous conditions caused by HPV infection. The mildest type of pre-cancerous condition is CIN 1, followed by CIN 2/3, and CIN 3 and AIS. Laboratories do not report cases of CIN 1, but they do report CIN 2/3, CIN3 and AIS.
Cervical Screening and CIN Rates
Case Counts, 2008 - 2014
HPV Type Distribution, 2008 - 2012