human papilloma virus or human papillomavirus
also called HPV. A common virus with more than 100 types, some of which cause changes in cells that can grow into cancer or warts. Some of these types, called genital HPV, can live in the mucous membranes such as those of the vagina, cervix, and anus. Nearly all cervical cancers are related to HPV, as are some cancers of the anus, penis, vagina, vulva, and urethra and some head and neck cancers (mostly the tongue and tonsils). Vaccines can now help the body fight the 2 main cancer-causing types. There is also a test for HPV that can be done along with a woman’s Pap test. See also Pap test.