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20 Percent of Women Infected with Uterine Cancer Virus

Posted September. 05, 2001 08:40,   


It was revealed that one of five women in the nation are infected with the high risk `human papilloma virus` (HPV) which can cause cervical cancer.

Prof. Suh Ho-Suk of Korea University`s Kuro Hospital, who is a world renown expert on cervical cancer, announced yesterday that ``according to the analysis of uterine cells of 689 women who had a regular check-ups last year, 134 (19.4 percent) were infected with the high risk HPV, such as `type -16 ` and `type -18 `.`` Especially, 9 out of 15 under 24 years old were infected, marking 60 percent of infection rate, and 27 (21.4 percent) out of 126 between 25-34 years old were infected. Although infection rate decreased as women are older, 7 (28 percent) out of 25 who are over 65 years old were infected.

Prof. Suh said that ``the major cause of infection is decayed sex life, such as male partner`s excessive intercourses with other people. High infection rate of women under 24 years old seems due to the more open sex life of young women, while rising infection rate of women over 65 years old seems due to the aging.``

Among 80 kinds of HPV, type 16 and 18 have high possibility to cause cervical cancer.

Although National Institute of Health recently announced that 40 percent of 500 women who work at the red-light districts were infected with the high risk HPV, this was the first HPV examination of general women.

Prof. Suh performed `examination of cervical cell` and `hybrid capture II`, the only HPV examination method approved by the U.S. FDA, at the same time in order to have accuracy.

Although most of the HPV are killed by the human body`s immune system, 3-5 percent of the people who are infected with the HPV develop `dysplasia`, which is one step before cervical cancer, and most of them develop cervical cancer.

Cervical cancer is the number one outbreak of female cancer, and 1,500-2,000 women die because they missed opportunities for the treatment. 95 percent of cervical cancer is reported to be caused by the HPV.

Yun Sang-Ho ysh1005@donga.com