human papillomavirus

Definition / meaning of human papillomavirus

A type of virus that can cause abnormal tissue growth (for example, warts) and other changes to cells. Infection for a long time with certain types of human papillomavirus can cause cervical cancer. Human papillomavirus may also play a role in some other types of cancer, such as anal, vaginal, vulvar, penile, oropharyngeal, and squamous cell skin cancers. Also called HPV.

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Source(s):

The Web site of the National Cancer Institute (http://www.cancer.gov/)

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