Our new HPV Centre has been created for the prevention of cervical cancer by vaccination against HPV (human papillomavirus) and early diagnosis of precancerous cervical conditions.
- HPV and cervical cancer
- How does HPV spread? Are there any risk factors associated with HPV infection?
- Does HPV infection have symptoms?
- Can cervical cancer be prevented?
- What is HPV vaccine and how does it work?
- The HPV vaccination procedure
HPV and cervical cancer
Human papillomaviruses are a group of more than 100 related viruses that can infect humans. Some of them may cause warts, or papillomas, which are easy to cure but most of them infect areas that are covered with epithelial mucosa such as the cervix, the vagina, the external genitalia, the urethral and the rectal areas as well as the neck and head, specifically the oral cavity, the pharynx, the larynx and the esophagus.
These diseases have a long course and develop slowly through precancerous conditions. The latency period can be years.
Cervical cancer is always caused by HPV infection; however, if diagnosed in time it can be cured.
On the other hand, not all types of HPV infections result in cervical cancer. In Hungary 25% of women are estimated to have HPV infection and on the average 1100 of them develops invasive cervical cancer annually. About 90% of the infection disappears without any intervention, but it is impossible to foresee which infection will disappear and which won’t.
Based on the potential of inducing cervical cancer the following HPV types are high-risk viruses: HPV16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 45, 52 and 58. HPV16 and 18 are responsible for 60-70% of cervical cancer cases. Low-risk types include HPV 6, 11, 40, 42, 43, 44 and 54. Types 6 and 11 are linked to approximately 90/ of gential warts cases.
How does HPV spread? Are there any risk factors associated with HPV infection?
Human papillomaviruses responsible for genital conditions are transmitted during sexual contact. Using condoms may help to prevent HPV, but does not provide 100% protection.
Younger women or those who have a large number of sexual partners are more likely to become infected with HPV. There is a higher risk if the woman uses oral contraception or has cervical lesion or suffers from other sexually transmitted diseases.
What are the symptoms of HPV infection?
Human papillomaviros infection has no clinical symptoms. It is possible to pass it on to your partner even if you experience no symptoms yourself.
Can cervical cancer be prevented?
Unfortunately there is no medication to treat HPV infection. The long-established methods of screening for cervical cancer and precancerous conditions is the cytological examination of the cervical smear known as the smear test or Pap test, and colposcopy (the gynecological diagnostic procedure to examine an illuminated, magnified view of the cervix). These methods can reveal the initial stage of pathological processes, cancerous cellular mutations, and a large number of HPV infections. Molecular genetic methods are used to verify HPV infection and to determine the type of human papillomavirus.
What is HPV vaccine and how does it work?
The human papillomavirus vaccines that are currently available in Hungary provide long-term protection against HPV types 6, 11, 16 and 18. The vaccine contains the surface protein of the given type. These surface components can stimulate the immune system to produce antibodies that can prevent the complete papillomavirus from infecting cells. The level of antibodies is expected to stay stable and high over a long period (up to 15 to 20 years), which ensures long-term effectiveness.
Vaccination does not replace routine screening for cervical cancer. The vaccine only protects from those HPV types whose surface protein it contains. Moreover, it does not protect from an already existing HPV infection. Thus regular cervical screening is very important.
The vaccine does not provide protection against some of the HPV types that cause genital warts nor against other sexually transmitted diseases.
It is recommended that patients present their latest smear test result before the vaccine is administered.
The HPV vaccination procedure
The vaccine is delivered through a series of three injections. The second dose is administered one month after the first one, and the third dose follows five months after the second. Women who received the first dose should receive the full series.
|HPV vaccine (1 dose)||30 000 HUF|
|Vaccination charge||2 000 HUF|
|Examination||12 000 HUF|
|Consultation||5 000 HUF|
|Cytology + Examination (2 weeks)||14 000 HUF|
|HPV test||7 000 HUF|
The vaccine is a non-subsidized prescription drug.
The vaccine used by the HPV Centre is stored in controlled conditioned, fully in keeping with relevant regulations.