Gynecologist calls for more testing of women with HPV-16 and other infections

An Advent Health gynecology specialist is calling for more blood testing of female patients with cervical and vulvar cancer, saying she has found that the cancer has increased in the last several years.

Theresa Gorman, an assistant professor of gynecologic surgery at the University of Minnesota, said she began noticing an uptick in cases in the past five years.

“When you have increased cervical cancer rates, it’s really concerning,” Gorman said.

“I’ve had a lot of women, especially young women, come in with the virus and they’re not feeling well.

The cancer is growing.

So you know, we need to be more careful with how we do this, because this is going to be a very important piece of research that will help us determine how these cancers can be managed.”

In addition to testing the cervix, doctors have been looking at other areas of the body, including the genitals, the vagina, breasts and the prostate.

They’ve also been trying to understand how women are getting their cancers, and how much they are carrying the virus.

Gorman said the HPV vaccine has helped to reduce the number of women who become infected.

“There are so many more people out there who have it, so we know how many people are in the world that have it,” Gromer said.

“So if we know that people have it and it’s spread to other parts of the population, it may be that the vaccines may be an important tool in controlling that.”

Gorman and her team also have been studying HPV DNA in cervix samples to see if it could predict whether a woman has cervical cancer.

She said the findings from the lab have been very encouraging.

“What we’ve seen is that when we can find a pattern in the DNA, it suggests the likelihood of getting cervical cancer, and when we have a pattern of genetic variation that’s similar to what we would expect for cervical cancer with other types of HPV infections, we see a very low risk of developing cervical cancer,” she said.

Gomer said the study will help her team make more definitive diagnoses and determine if the HPV infection is curable.

“We want to understand if the infection is just a matter of time or a matter a lot more,” Gomer said.

If it’s curable, it might allow women to have more regular Pap smears, which will help in their treatment, and may help them avoid having another round of invasive cervical cancer surgery, Gorman added.

“If the HPV is not curable and it continues to increase in prevalence, it will lead to an increased burden on health care providers, and it will increase the risk of cervical cancer for women and men,” Gormer said, adding that she believes it is possible to make the virus curable through a combination of vaccination, screening and medication.