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Dr Sara Kayat discusses ants that can smell cancer

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There are more than 100 different strains of HPV, yet only 13 are considered high-risk when it comes to cancer; the others should be cleared by the body without any complications. Strains six and 11 do cause genital warts, however, that lead to fleshy growths around the genitals. The team at LloydsPharmacy detailed which cancers high-risk HPV strains are connected to: cervical and anal cancer, cancer of the penis, vulva and vagina.

Moreover, high-risk HPV has been associated with mouth and throat cancer.

How do you get a HPV infection?

HPV is spread via skin-to-skin contact, will bactroban treat impetigo including sexual intercourse or sexual activities.

The use of a condom may not prevent the spread of HPV, but harmless strains are usually cleared from the body within two years of infection.

Cervical cancer

Cancer Research UK pointed out that cervical cancer affects thousands of people each year; the most common age of diagnosis is between 30 to 34 years of age.

The NHS highlighted the warning signs of cervical cancer, which includes irregular vaginal bleeding.

To elaborate, this accounts for bleeding during or after sex, in between periods, or after the menopause.

There may be changes to vaginal discharge, pain felt during intercourse, or pain in the lower back, between the hip bones in the pelvis or in the lower stomach.

Do note that cervical screening (i.e. a smear test) does not check for cervical cancer.

Anal cancer

The symptoms of anal cancer may include:

  • Bleeding from the bottom
  • Itching and pain around the anus
  • Small lumps around and inside the bottom
  • A discharge of mucus from the bottom
  • Having problems controlling when you poo (bowel incontinence)
  • Needing to poo often with looser, runnier poos.

While these symptoms are similar to a non-cancerous condition known as piles (haemorrhoids), it’s important to get them checked by a doctor.

Penile cancer

Penile cancer typically affects the foreskin or head (tip) of the penis.

The most common symptoms include:

  • A growth or sore that does not heal within four weeks
  • A rash
  • Bleeding from the penis or under the foreskin
  • A smelly discharge
  • Thickening of the skin of the penis or foreskin that makes it difficult to pull back the foreskin (phimosis)
  • A change in the colour of the skin of your penis or foreskin.

Other symptoms of penile cancer may include: a lump in the groin; feeling tired; stomach pain; and losing weight without trying to shed the pounds.

Vulva cancer

The vulva is the woman’s external genitals, which includes the lips surrounding the vagina (labia minora and labia majora), the clitoris, and the Bartholin’s glands.

The Bartholin’s glands are two small glands found at each side of the vagina.

Vulva cancer is more prominent in women over the age of 65, which can lead to:

  • A persistent itch in the vulva
  • Pain, soreness or tenderness in the vulva
  • Raised and thickened patches of skin that can be red, white or dark
  • A lump or wart-like growth on the vulva
  • Bleeding from the vulva or blood-stained vaginal discharge between periods
  • An open sore in the vulva
  • A burning pain when peeing
  • A mole on the vulva that changes shape or colour.

Vaginal cancer

The vagina is the tube between the vulva and the opening of the womb, which is known as the cervix.

The main symptoms of vaginal cancer include a lump in the vagina and ulcers (alongside other skin changes) in or around the vagina.

Other symptoms of vaginal cancer might include:

  • Bleeding from the vagina after the menopause
  • Bleeding after sex or pain during sex
  • Smelly or bloodstained vaginal discharge
  • Bleeding between periods
  • An itch in your vagina that will not go away
  • Pain when you pee, or needing to pee a lot.

If at any point you have any health concerns, do book an appointment to speak to your doctor.

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