June 27, 2013
Lymphoma involves the uncontrolled growth of lymph cells that may spread to other organs, including bone marrow, the brain or spinal cord (central nervous system, or CNS lymphoma), and the gastrointestinal tract (GI lymphoma). The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) may play a role in the development of lymphomas.
The two major types are:
Lymphomas can be more advanced and harder to treat in HIV+ people, especially CNS lymphoma.
Cervical cancer is strongly linked to the human papilloma virus (HPV). HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the US. Different strains of HPV cause warts or abnormal cell growth (dysplasia) near the anus or cervix (entrance to the womb).
Dysplasia is more common in women with advanced HIV disease and low CD4 cell counts. It is often more severe and difficult to treat than in HIV-negative women. Untreated dysplasia can lead to cervical cancer, which can be life threatening. HPV may also cause cancer in the vagina, vulva, and anus.
The good news is, when dysplasia is found and treated early, cervical cancer can be prevented. Tests like the Pap smear or VIA (visual inspection with acetic acid) are used to look for changes in the cervix, including dysplasia and cervical cancer. Cervical cancer usually takes years to develop, and it does not usually have symptoms until it is quite advanced. This is why getting screened for cervical cancer on a regular basis is important; screening can catch potential problems before they get worse. For more information on getting a gynecologic exam, see our article on Caring for a Woman's Body.
The other good news is that there are two widely used HPV vaccines: Gardasil (made by Merck; also known as Silgard) and Cervarix (made by GlaxoSmithKline). Both vaccines protect against the types of HPV that cause the most cervical cancers and genital warts. Pregnant women should not receive the vaccine, although it is safe to get the vaccine while breastfeeding.
Both vaccines have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are also licensed in many other regions, including Canada, the United Kingdom (UK), and Europe. In the US, Gardasil is approved for females and males ages 9 to 26, while Cervarix is approved for females ages 10 to 25. The same is true in Canada.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends HPV vaccines for all girls and young women ages 11 through 26 and all boys and young men ages 11 through 21 (even if they have already become sexually active).
In Canada, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommends Gardasil vaccination for females and males ages nine through 26, or vaccination with Cervarix for girls and young women ages nine through 26. In the UK, vaccination with Gardasil is offered to girls ages 12 and 13 through the National Health Service.
Treatment for Dysplasia or Cancer That Is Very Localized
Treatment for Cervical Cancer
Treatment depends on the type of cervical cancer and how far it has spread. Often, more than one kind of treatment is used.
This article was provided by The Well Project. Visit The Well Project's Web site to learn more about their resources and initiatives for women living with HIV. The Well Project shares its content with TheBody.com to ensure all people have access to the highest quality treatment information available. The Well Project receives no advertising revenue from TheBody.com or the advertisers on this site. No advertiser on this site has any editorial input into The Well Project's content.
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