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Radio Shows | Viruses that Cause Cancer | mp3wmawav

Today, we'll explore viruses that cause cancer.

There's a virus called Human Papilloma virus, or HPV. In some women, HPV leads to persistent infections that, over time, can cause cancer.

Scientists have known about the link between viruses and cancer in mice, but the evidence in humans is still pretty new.

In addition to the link between HPV and cervical cancer, we know other viruses can cause things like liver cancer and leukemia.

Here's how it happens. Some viruses carry oncogenes: pieces of genetic information that alter the cells they infect. These genes cause infected cells to grow out of control - a characteristic of cancer cells.

Other viruses insert themselves into our D-N-A. Here, the virus can activate growth genes or turn off tumor-suppressing genes. Both can lead to cancer.

While researchers are looking for more these viruses, they're also working on drugs so that people who are infected don't develop cancer.

That's why the HPV vaccine is such big news. It's available now and it's safe and effective. The vaccine is recommended for girls starting at age 11 or 12.

Cervical cancer kills more than a quarter million women every year. The vaccine could shrink these numbers. And if administered early, it can provide protection well into adulthood.

Remember, not all cancers are caused by viruses. We'll cover that topic next time.

But, for now, working to control the viruses that do is a step in the right direction.

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HPV Infection
Genital HPV infection is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that is caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). Human papillomavirus is the name of a group of viruses.
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HPV and HPV Vaccine - Information for Healthcare Providers
On June 8, 2006, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) licensed the first vaccine developed to prevent cervical cancer and other diseases in females caused by certain types of genital human papillomavirus...
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FDA Licenses New Vaccine for Prevention of Cervical Cancer and Other Diseases in Females Caused by Human Papillomavirus
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today announced the approval of Gardasil, the first vaccine developed to prevent cervical cancer, precancerous genital lesions and genital warts due to human papillomavirus (HPV) types 6, 11, 16 and 18...
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Human Papillomaviruses and Cancer: Questions and Answers
What are human papillomaviruses, and how are they transmitted?
Human papillomaviruses (HPV) are a group of more than 100 viruses. They are called papillomaviruses because certain types may cause warts, or papillomas...
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