HPV: virus that caused anal cancer in Ana Maria Braga can cause other types of tumors

HPV: virus that caused anal cancer in Ana Maria Braga can cause other types of tumors
HPV: virus that caused anal cancer in Ana Maria Braga can cause other types of tumors
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Last Sunday, 31st, the presenter Ana Maria Braga remembered in Fantastic who, in the early 2000s, was diagnosed with anal cancer. According to the presenter, the tumor appeared as a result of HPV (acronym in English for human papillomavirus) and was discovered at an advanced stage.

Ana Maria was cured and, today, warns about the importance of vaccination against the virus. “If you have minor children, you will protect that person you love for the rest of your life,” she said.

The acronym refers to the human papillomavirus, responsible for sexually transmitted infection (STI) most frequent in the world, according to the Ministry of Health. Also according to the folder, HPV transmission occurs through direct contact with the infected skin or mucosa, that is, through touch, vaginal or anal penetration, or contact of the virus with the mouth. More than 200 subtypes of the virus have been identified.

Around 70% to 80% of the population comes into contact with HPV at some point in their lives, mainly through sexual activity. Although most virus infections are resolved by the immune system, some persist, which can result in the development of lesions and, eventually, the development of cancer.

Ana Maria Braga during a report on the HPV virus on ‘Fantástico’ on Sunday, March 31st. Photograph: Reproduction of ‘Fantástico’ (2024)/TV Globo

Most virus infections are resolved by the immune system itself and do not cause symptoms. “This will depend on the subtype of HPV virus that caused the infection”, explains oncologist Mariana Scaranti, from Hospital Nove de Julho, in São Paulo.

In the case of a persistent infection, the result may be the development of lesions. In these cases, typical symptoms of HPV are warts in the genital region and anus. They usually appear two to eight months after infection, according to the Ministry of Health.

Eventually, a long-lasting infection can generate lesions that turn into cancer.

What types of cancer can be caused by HPV?

According to the Ministry of Health, HPV is responsible for almost all cervical cancers.

Furthermore, it is behind 85% of anal cancers35% of oropharynx and 23% of those from mouth (specific type that is usually included in the oropharynx group).

The virus can also cause malignant tumors in the genital regions, such as penis, vulva and vagina.

It is worth emphasizing that not everyone who comes into contact with HPV will develop cancer.

What are the ways to prevent HPV?

According to Mariana, the main strategy in this regard is the vaccination. The vaccine against HPV has been available free of charge in the Unified Health System (SUS) for ten years. Today, the following groups can take doses of the vaccine: boys and girls aged 9 to 14, immunosuppressed adults (with HIV, cancer or transplants) up to 45 years old, and victims of sexual abuse up to the same age.

The tetravalent vaccine available on the public network protects against subtypes 6, 11, 16 and 18 – the first two cause genital warts, while the last two are responsible for around 90% of cervical cancer cases. There is also another immunizer, nonavalent, which also protects against subtypes 31, 33, 45, 52 and 58 of HPV, and is only available in private clinics.

In addition to vaccination, another fundamental strategy in combating HPV is the use of condoms. However, as this method is not 100% effective in combating the disease, according to the Ministry of Health, It is important to combine the use of condoms with vaccination.

To specifically avoid cervical cancer caused by HPV, another strategy is to perform regular screening. pap smear. This is a gynecological exam that identifies infections in the cervix and can detect the disease before it turns into a tumor. According to the oncologist, the frequency of carrying out this exam must be decided together with the gynecologist.

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: HPV virus caused anal cancer Ana Maria Braga types tumors

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