Anal cancer has been put in the spotlight with Farrah Fawcetts's battle with the disease. What many people are starting to learn is that a common virus, HPV, is a major risk risk factor for developing anal cancer.
HPV is a virus transmitted thorugh sexual contact and it is estimated that over 20 million Americans are infected. There are over 100 different types of HPV, however only a few are responsible for cancer development. HPV is also the leading cause of cervical cancer, a disease that plagues of 9,000 American women each year. The good news is that most cases of HPV clear up on their own before progressing to cancer. However, a regular Pap smear is needed to monitor any changes in the cervix that may lead to cervical cancer. The bottom line is that if you don't get a Pap smear, you are more at risk of developing cervical cancer.