The “Silent Killer”: 3 Reasons Why You Should Screen for HPV

Updated: Oct 24, 2020

Cervical cancer is the 8th most common cause of cancer deaths among Singaporean women. And here are the reasons why you should do HPV screening for cervical cancer.

The “Silent Killer”.

Cervical cancer is nicknamed the 'silent killer' because its symptoms often are invisible until it is too late. And here is another challenge, HPV (Human papillomavirus), the main culprit in causing cervical cancer, is thought to be the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the world. 75% to 80% of sexually active adults have had an HPV infection at some point in their lives.

There are many different types of HPV that infect the skin, with HPV type 16 and 18 being the high-risk strains that could cause cervical cancer. Luckily the majority of HPV infections in individuals are noted to harmlessly clear itself, so not everyone who gets the virus gets cervical cancer. But here is another plot twist, there is no way to know who will be able to clear the virus from their system and who will not.

Married. Singles. Everyone could get HPV.

HPV, unlike HIV or Syphilis, is a skin-to-skin transmitted infection, not via bodily fluids, this makes it an STI that can transmit itself even though you are using condoms. HPV can be contracted from one partner, remains dormant and symptomless for years, and then later be unknowingly transmitted to another sexual partner. So even if you have been in a monogamous, long-term relationship, you could still test positive.