STDs Expert Forum
HPV & Cancer
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The STD Forum is intended only for questions and support pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases other than HIV/AIDS, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, human papillomavirus, genital warts, trichomonas, other vaginal infections, nongonoccal urethritis (NGU), cervicitis, molluscum contagiosum, chancroid, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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HPV & Cancer

I realize this question is a little far afield and understand if you can't answer. My 40-year-old wife had a Pap smear which had an abnormality - presence of endometrial cells. Cervix was apparently fine. Has not had irregular bleeding.

She's now going for a biopsy to determine the cause (including potentially uterine cancer). She was not menstruating at the time of her Pap smear. Here's my questions:

- Can HPV strains cause the presence of endometrial cells?
- How common is the presence of endometrial cells?
- If her Cervix is fine is HPV still a possible factor?

To be honest, I don't know what else to ask so any other expert information (online info is confusing) is greatly appreciated. Part of my anxiety is I had oral sex outside my marriage nearly 2 years ago and while I told her about my mistake I am scared to death that somehow I may have contributed to this condition.

Thanks for any assistance.

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I am not a gynecological oncologist and so I will be cautious to not overstep my areas of expertise.  At the same time, I think I can be of assistance to you.  Reading between the lines of your note, it appears that you are concerned that you may have given you wife cancer as a result of an orals sex exposure with another partners about two years ago.  I can assure you that you did not.  

1.  Your wife is being biopsied to find out if she has endometrial cancer.  HPV does not cause endometrial cells to appear on Pap smears.
2.  Endometrial cells on a Pap smear is definitely abnormal and should be investigated further.  In some cases it turns out to be a false alarm.  On the other hand, their detection may allow early detection of endometrial cancer and thus, earlier treatment.  A biopsy will provide helpful information
3.  HPV infection of the endometrium is not a major concern.
4.  While HPV is associated with cervical cancer, the association with endometrial cancer is far less clear.  Much endometrial cancer is not caused by HPV.
5.  Development of HPV-related cancer typically takes far longer than two years.

I appreciate your concern.  you did not do this to your wife.  Put these concerns aside and be there for your wife.  Hope this helps.  EWH
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H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
University of Washington
Seattle, WA
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