Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Community
Immune Response or Indicative of Cancer
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This forum is an un-mediated, patient-to-patient forum for questions and support regarding HPV issues such as: genital warts, causes, diagnosis, cervical cancer, HPV in men, PAP tests, treatment, telling your spouse or partner

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Immune Response or Indicative of Cancer

Hello and thank you for your time.  I am 42 years old and I have not been sexual active since I was 28.  In the past I have experienced vulvar itching but have never noticed any lesions. My pap smears have always been WNL; the last almost three years ago.  A few weeks ago I noticed a raised fleshy area near the posterior commissure;  further self-examination revealed one small pedunculated growth to the lateral side of my labia minora.  Ugh.  It seems an awful like HPV.  Within in the past year and a half I have gone to part-time at my job and lost my health insurance--I've also been back in college full-time.  I'm debating on whether or not to seek attention or see if my condition spontaneously regresses.  School, running a house, caring for aging parents, and working (no sleep)--we won't mention the diet--have likely done a number on my immune system. I won't lie that I am a little concerned that recurrent episodes are more likely associated with strains that cause precancerous/cancerous lesions.  I'm just interested in your thoughts...and perhaps a ballpark figure of what it may all cost said and done (exam, lab, tx).  Thank you again.
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The strand of HPV that causes warts is not the same strand that can lead to cancer.  Do you have a sexual health clinic that would give you a free pap test to help determine what, if any, type you have?
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Important to go get a pap every year.
Same as you, I developed HPV "bumps" after a long time of NOT being sexually active. I was 40 at the time. (I had these bumps removed, "frozen off", during two sessions with a  compassionate dermatologist. It wasn't too painful.)
I then had annual paps, which was good in my case, because a few years later  I discovered I had a cervical carcinoma,  which I had surgically removed by an oncologist. I was told at the time that this type of carcinoma is linked to HPV.
The surgery was stressful but it was better than being dead. (I was also told the carcinoma would have killed me in about 5 years if it had been left untreated.)
SO GO GET A PAP NOW,
and follow through by getting one every year.
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