Melissa Mark-Viverito Does Not Have Cervical Cancer, She Says

By Jeff Mays on August 22, 2014 1:28pm 

 City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito announced that  she does not have cervical cancer, following an announcement on Twitter Sunday that she had tested positive for "high-risk HPV" the sexually transmitted disease that can lead to cervical cancer.
City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito announced that  she does not have cervical cancer, following an announcement on Twitter Sunday that she had tested positive for "high-risk HPV" the sexually transmitted disease that can lead to cervical cancer.
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DNAinfo/Colby Hamilton

MANHATTAN — A week after announcing that she had tested positive for "high risk HPV," City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said Friday that test results found she does not have cervical cancer.

The normally private Mark-Viverito — who decided to go public with her health news via Twitter on Sunday — said she opted to share her medical journey to get the word out about the risks assciated with HPV, a sexually transmitted disease that can lead to cervical cancer.

"Just got off phone w/ my #GYN who gave me results. Have low grade dysplasia but no cause for concern & no other action needed #hpv #whew," Mark-Viverito tweeted Friday afternoon.

Dysplasia means abnormal cells, experts said. Mark-Viverito previously tweeted that she was scheduled for a biopsy Tuesday.

Human papillomavirus, or HPV, is the most common sexually transmitted disease. About 14 million men and women become newly infected each year by the virus that is usually transmitted by genital contact during vaginal or anal sex, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Many people will contract the virus at some point but it is usually fought off by the immune system and no symptoms are felt. A positive HPV test does not mean that the person will get cervical cancer. About 33,200 HPV-related cancer cases are diagnosed per year in the United States.

The city's health department recently launched an advertising campaign to get parents to have their pre-teen children receive the HPV vaccination.

During Thursday's City Council meeting, Mark-Viverito's colleagues repeatedly praised her bravery in talking about her diagnosis. Mayor Bill de Blasio also described Mark-Viverito's disclosure as courageous.

Mark-Viverito said previously it had been two years since her last visit to the gynecologist. On Friday, she said she wouldn't let so much time pass before the next visit.

"#GYN made it explicitly clear, though, that I need to be back within & no later than 1yr for next visit. Women, make your appts! #gettested," Mark-Viverito also tweeted out Friday

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