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Question: Question on HPV & Men? Has anybody else had HPV? My ex-girlfriend called me a couple months after we broke up and told me she had an abnormal pap test...which of course I had no idea what that was, nor did I know what HPV was (Which really makes me angry). Both of us have not been with many people, so I was shocked and can't think who would have given this to me because I don't think she did either. She said the doctor said that guys don't have to worry, but from what I've researched that doesn't seem to be the case. Has anybody had any kind of trouble? Other than warts, which I haven't had. It says that anal cancer is possible, but nobody recommends getting tested, but I would feel better if I did. I'm one of those people that worries too much, but considering she had pre-cancerous cells, who is to say I don't. I wouldn't care as much, but certain things we did makes me worry. Anyone else have any experience of this?

Answer: I am no doctor - but I am a woman who's had lots of abnormal pap smears and surgery twice to remove precancerous cells. I have had several different types of HPV. I didn't even know I had it until I ended up with my first abnormal pap smear which required laser surgery. The 2nd time my pap was abnormal, it was a little more advanced and I had a cone biopsy (they cut out a portion of my cervix). It's been 5 years now & everything so far is good. I have also been told by my doctors and my gynocologist that most men don't know they have HPV. This is the reason that they estimate up to 75% of the population has HPV. Because the men are carriers, don't know they have it and pass it along to women. It shows up in women usually from abnormal paps. Certain types of HPV have been linked to cancer of the anus and penis in men. At the moment, there is no test approved to detect HPV in men. There are currently no tests approved to detect early evidence of HPV-associated cancers in men, as there are for women (Pap tests). Nonetheless, since anal cancer is more common in gay, bisexual, and HIV-positive men, some experts recommend routine anal Pap tests for those populations. The anal Pap test is used to find abnormal cells in the anus (caused by HPV) that could turn into cancer over time. However, it is not yet clear that finding and removing abnormal cells from the anus will effectively prevent anal cancer from developing in the future. CDC does not recommend anal cancer screening. Check out this website for more facts about men & hpv: Your concerns to be worried are legitimate but unfortunately, there isn't a whole lot available right now for men. Best thing to remember is practice safe sex & limit the number of partners you have sex with. And wear a rubber. To the poster who said: "What her doctor did not tell her because he probably doesn't know, is that the most common reason for an abnormal pap smear is folic acid deficiency in the diet." Where is your research to back this up. You state the doctors don't even know this??? The #1 cause of abnormal pap smears is HPV - NOT lack of folic acid. In fact, lack of folic acid is not even a cause for abnormal pap smears. An abnormal pap smear can mean it is an inflammation (irritation). This can be caused by an infection of the cervix, including a yeast infection, infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV) or herpes virus, or many other infections. It could be very early signs of cancer. These changes are called dysplasia. It could be more serious signs of cancer. These changes affect the top layers of the cervix but don't go beyond the cervix. This is called "carcinoma in situ." Or very rarely it could be more advanced cancer. Other factors that increase the risk of cervical cancer include the chronic use of immunosuppressive medications (eg, steroids, post-organ transplant medications) and cigarette smoking. Taking folic acid and possibly other nutrients can help play a key role in retarding the progression of cervical cancer but it will NOT make your abnormal pap test disappear as so stated by this poster. Nor is it the reason for an abnormal pap smear whatsoever. Folic acid has shown improvement with abnormal pap smears in women taking oral contraceptives, but does not help women who do not use birth control pills.

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