Cervical cancer: how nurses can dispel myths and offer support around HPV

A survey conducted for Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust reveals that myths about human papillomavirus could have damaging effects on women’s lives and relationships
Picture shows a light micrograph of a cervical smear revealing epithelial cells infected with HPV. In this patient, the smear would be considered borderline abnormal.

Nurses can help dispel the myths about the human papillomavirus that can damage relationships and harm women’s confidence and mental health, according to Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust

  • Nurses should check patients’ understanding of the human papillomavirus (HPV) and be prepared for difficult questions
  • HPV is a normal consequence of sexual intercourse and usually resolves itself naturally
  • Ignorance can affect relationships, confidence and mental health if infidelity is suspected

Stigma and misunderstanding about human papillomavirus (HPV) can have a damaging effect on women’s lives, according to a cancer charity.

A survey of more than 2,000 women conducted on behalf of


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