By: Diane Ursu
10 October 2010
The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) produces proteins that signal excessive cell proliferation. This may lead to cancer when combined with other factors.
Human papillomaviruses (HPV) consist of over 100 viruses, including the quite-common genital infections that are associated with the development of cervical cancer. HPV can also be transmitted into the mouth and throat during oral sex and is one of the causes of oropharyngeal cancer.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) article, “STD Facts – Human papillomavirus (HPV),” about 20 million Americans have HPV infections, and 6 million new cases develop each year. More than 22,000 of these cases develop into cancer, which leads many to question how a virus can cause cancer.
HPV Infection of Human Cells
Epithelial basal stem cells reproduce to create layers of epithelium, like that of the skin. As new layers are created, existing layers are pushed toward the surface, and the surface layers are removed. For example, surface layer skin cells either fall off or are rubbed off.
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