Week of:
Jan 13, 2017

Bleeding from Pap smear — Normal?

Dear Alice,

I bled as a result of my last Pap smear. I've never had that happen before and it was a new gynecologist. She said that it was normal. Is that true?

— Confused about blood

Positive for high-risk HPV

Dear Alice,

I just found out I tested positive for high-risk HPV. My pap smears have been normal for years. I'm 45 years old and have had lots of basal cell skin cancer. I'm scared to death of getting cancers that are caused by HPV. I'm so stressed. What are the odds that I will actually get cancer, now that I am supposedly high-risk? It appears there it nothing I can do at all to prevent this from happening other than keeping up with my visits and pap smears and hoping I beat the odds. I just wonder at how much risk am I when they say I am HIGH-RISK???

HPV vaccine for genital warts and cervical cancer

Dear Alice,

I recently began hearing rumors about an HPV vaccine in the works. Do you know anything about the HPV vaccines being tested and when they might be available? Also, will the vaccines cure HPV or just prevent it? Thanks in advance.