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September 1, 2020

Prevo-Check®: rapid test for the early detection of HP viruses

Cancer screening in Berlin with Prevo-Check®

There are more than 200 different types of HPV. Some HP viruses (human papillomaviruses) cause infections that generally have no consequences, while other types of virus can trigger serious tissue changes and cancers. The malignant tissue changes affect the cervix, labia, vaginal vestibule/vulva, vagina, penis, anus and also the mouth and throat area.

With the help of the Prevo-Check®, we can carry out a rapid test in our practice that can detect the presence of antibodies against HPV16 L1 in the body. These antibodies occur when an HPV16 infection has developed into a precancerous stage or a carcinoma. In this way, the test can detect cancer at an early stage and enable timely treatment. This significantly increases the chances of recovery.

(Image: © DragonImages – stock.adobe.com)

What are human papillomaviruses (HPV)?

Papillomaviruses are pathogens that can cause inflammation and skin changes, among other things. As the name suggests, human papillomaviruses are found in humans. They enter the body via the skin or mucous membranes. They eventually multiply inside the host cells. HP viruses are so widespread that almost everyone comes into contact with them in the course of their lives. The majority of infections go unnoticed and heal on their own. The immune system brings the viruses back under control.

On the other hand, there are also HPV infections that can increase the risk of malignant tumors such as cervical cancer or oral cavity cancer. In around one in ten infections with high-risk types of HPV, the immune system is unable to eliminate the viruses, meaning that they remain in the epithelium (covering tissue) for more than six to 18 months. This so-called persistent infection is a prerequisite for the development of cancer.

How is HPV transmitted?

The virus is transmitted via direct contact with infected mucous membranes. Infection is possible through (unprotected) sexual intercourse in particular. As the HP viruses are largely invisible in the skin and mucous membrane cells, infection is theoretically possible with any skin contact and not just during sexual intercourse. Infection via bodily fluids such as saliva is considered unlikely, but infection during oral sex is possible if the mucous membranes come into contact with infected areas of skin.

Protection against HPV

As the human papillomaviruses are so widespread, a life of abstinence is in principle the only reliable protection, as in this way contact with infected areas of skin and mucous membranes can be ruled out. The risk of infection is also reduced by using condoms. However, they do not offer one hundred percent protection against HPV infection, as they do not cover all areas of the skin that may be infected. However, they reduce the risk and also protect against other sexually transmitted diseases.

Young women and men who have not yet come into contact with HPV also have the opportunity to be vaccinated against certain HP viruses. Vaccination usually takes place between the ages of 9 and 17. In principle, it is also possible to have the vaccination at a later date, but it is advisable to have it as early as possible.

What happens during the Prevo-Check®?

The Prevo-Check® offers the possibility of a quick and uncomplicated test. It is used to detect antibodies that are not formed during the primary infection with the HP virus, but during an existing tumor disease. The test result therefore indicates a tumor disease at an early stage, when the patient is apparently still completely healthy. Particularly in the case of condylomas (genital warts), it is advisable to carry out an early detection of HP viruses and to investigate possible tumor diseases. At this stage, the tumors are still easily treatable.

The test only requires a drop of blood from the patient, which is usually taken from the fingertip or earlobe. The Prevo-Check® is offered in our practice as part of cancer screening, for example, but can also be booked separately. booked separately be booked separately. The test result is available after just 15 to 20 minutes.

Advantages of the rapid test

The rapid test has been approved in Germany since 2015. It can detect HPV-related tumors of the anogenital region and the oropharyngeal region much faster than was possible with previous methods. The tumors were often only detected very late, as oncogenesis (development of malignant tumors) is symptom-free for a long time. If the tumors are detected at an early stage, they can often be treated with very gentle therapy methods. In addition, the prognosis is good with early detection.

Further information on the Prevo-Check®

Do you have further questions about cancer screening or the Prevo-Check® in particular? We would be happy to inform you in a personal consultation in our practice. Just give us a call and arrange your individual appointment. You can also contact us by e-mail or via our online contact form to reach us.

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