Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and Cancer

Biomedical Sciences, cancer, Microbiology

By Ross Keller, PhD Candidate in Biomedical Sciences

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The HPV virus. (Wikimedia)

The Human Papilloma Virus, also known as HPV, is thought to contribute to an estimated 5% of all cancer cases worldwide. This includes approximately 70% of Oropharyngeal (throat) cancers, 95% of anal cancers, and 99% of cervical cancers among some other rare cancers1-4. HPV is a sexually transmitted virus that can be prevented. In fact, it is now recommended that adolescents receive an HPV vaccine. But, how does HPV lead to cancer? And why is the vaccine effective?