It was a disturbing phone call. Usually cool, calm and collected, my friend was in tears and on the verge of losing it. “I just came from my OBGYN…I need to get my uterus removed. How is it going to affect my sexuality?” Good question and something she should be concerned about. A few days later my friend told me the entire story. She contracted HPV and ended up with high grade cervical cancer cells which, eventually, let to a hysterectomy.
HPV is a sexually transmitted disease, or STD, that has concerned me for a number of years more than any other out there. We know that this is the form that can create cervical cancer which I have blogged about vis a vi my reservations on the vaccine Gardasil. What isn't common knowledge is the fact that the cancer-causing forms of this virus can and are producing cancerous lesions on other skin and mucous membrane surfaces it sets up shop on. Namely your throat, vagina, rectum and anus, and the surface of your genitals. This is not a women-only disease.
After 13 years of regular pap tests and generally healthy living, a then-31 year-old Christine Baze was diagnosed with cervical cancer two weeks after her gynecologist had informed her that she had HPV—human papillomavirus. There are nearly 200 known types of HPV; some lead to a variety of cancers, including cervical cancer. In the eight years since then, Baze has founded The Yellow Umbrella, a nonprofit dedicated to educating women about HPV prevention. In this article, she tells her story and gives valuable advice on how to deal with—and prevent—this tricky virus.
Gardasil is the immunization against HPV (commonly called Genital Warts). HPV can lead to cervical (and some say throat) cancer. The immunization is currently marketed to pre-sexual girls. But it is being used on boys in other countries and is under FDA trial for that purpose here. They really need a re-branding to make this work.
From Bloomberg News By Michelle Fay Cortez The virus that causes cervical cancer may be linked to throat cancer in those who engage in oral sex, a report says. A study in 300 adults found that those infected with the human papillomavirus, or HPV, who had oral sex with more than six partners, were 3 times more likely to get throat cancer. The research was included in a package of studies and commentary on the virus reported in today’s New England Journal of Medicine. The throat cancer study did not explore whether Gardasil, the Merck & Co. HPV vaccine approved by U.S. regulators in June, would be protective against oral infections. Nonetheless, the findings could spur new debate over whether it should be more widely prescribed, since oral HPV infection occurs in both men and women who engaged in this type of sex. Tango’s Take