Understand HPV, the virus that caused Ana Maria Braga’s cancer

Understand HPV, the virus that caused Ana Maria Braga’s cancer
Understand HPV, the virus that caused Ana Maria Braga’s cancer

Ana Maria Braga faced – and beat – cancer four times: 1991, 2001, 2015 and 2020. However, only now has the presenter decided to share details of the second diagnosis, which comes from the HPV virus.

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“By the time I managed to find out what I had, he was already ahead of schedule. And then I had a minimal chance of survival. So, it’s very scary”, she said on Fantástico, shown on Globo on the night of Sunday, March 31st.

The blonde said that, first, the doctor explained what had caused the disease, a virus that, until then, she was unaware of: “It came from HPV. I didn’t have the slightest information,” she said.

Ana Maria Braga is still not 100% free from the risk of cancer

The 75-year-old artist also highlighted that cancer patients should not feel guilty: “You are not to blame because you are a sexually active woman. You are a mother, there is no way to be a mother without being sexually active,” she said.

I think sexuality has to be seen the way it is. It’s a natural thing, made from nature, otherwise we wouldn’t be here.”

Low vaccine adherence

Although the HPV vaccine has been available in the Unified Health System (SUS) for ten years, adherence is still low, mainly due to misinformation: “There is now the vaccine, my Christ, this is pure gold”, he commented. Ana Maria Braga.

Distributed to people aged 9 to 14 and to immunosuppressed people (patients who have a weakened immune system due to certain conditions), the vaccine is in surplus at the stations.

Available on the private network for adults, costing around R$1,000 per dose, the HPV vaccine is available even to those who have already had contact with the virus.

What is HPV

It is a virus whose abbreviation means human papillomavirus. There are several subtypes of this virus, which can cause everything from warts on the skin and mucous membranes to precursor lesions of cancer.

Ana Maria Braga had breast cancer

Classified into types of low and high risk for cancer, the most common and mainly cause warts in the genital tract. Those that have the potential to cause cervical cancer are called oncogenic, especially HPV-16 and HPV-18, present in around 70% of cervical cancers.

Vaccination coverage against HPV in Brazil is below the 80% desired by the Ministry of Health. The vaccine is given in two doses. The first one has a little more adherence, but many people don’t show up to take the second one, especially boys.

What are the types of HPV

The types of HPV found on mucous membranes are sometimes called genital HPV. They usually don’t live on the skin. Genital HPV is not the same as HIV or herpes. HPV is divided into two main groups:

Low-risk HPV – some types of HPV can cause warts (papillomas) on the genitals and anus of men and women. Women can also get warts on the cervix and vagina. Because they rarely cause cancer, they are classified as “low risk” viruses.

high-risk HPV – other types of HPV are called “high risk” because they can cause cancer in men and women. Doctors are more concerned about cellular changes and pre-cancers related to these types, as there is a greater chance of developing cancer over time. Common high-risk HPV types include HPV 16 and 18.

HPV infection is very common. In most people, the body is able to clear the infection on its own. But sometimes the infection doesn’t go away. Chronic or long-term infections, especially when they are caused by certain high-risk HPV types, can cause cancer in the long term.

Flavia Cirino

She is a journalist with a degree from Universidade Gama Filho and a postgraduate degree in Cultural Journalism and Press Relations from Estácio de Sá. She is our steady hand in Rio de Janeiro and has been part of the OFuxico team since 2003.

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Understand HPV virus caused Ana Maria Bragas cancer



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