Mar 22, 2013 - 10:23 am
Way back when .... 70s and 80s they did not test for HPV. If a person had an abnormal pap, let's say, squamous atypia, dysplasia or carcinoma in situ .... This is usually associated with HPV. To add to what Martha outlined in "see these websites"... More than 80 percent of all sexually active people have HPV.
The vaccine is important for young people to receive. My opinion.
Sadly, many of our physicians aren't comfortable talking about sex or sexual issues. my doctor said to me, it is likely not HPV related, yet his note in medical record said the contrary...and that "we will test the tumor". He never did that until I requested my record and and read his notes. The tumor was positive for HPV 16. I had an abnormal pap in 1988...never positive for the virus during pap testing with dual pap (cytology with built in HPV) throughout my adult life.
Please note I left the university cancer center where I got treatment and went to a reputable center where I trust the staff to tell me the truth no matter how "uncomfortable".
The personal nature of anal cancer is one of the reasons it stays in the shadows And remains mis- diagnosed. And HPV is spread through skin to skin contact ... And migration of the virus in women from vaginal/menstral fluids. one may not have a history of anal intercourse for the virus to establish itself in other areas. Also ... A great number of oral cancers are related to HPV due to oral sexual contact. Remember, most cervical cancers are squamous cell ... Due to HPV. The virus migrates to vagina, vulva, and Anus...or thru direct skin to skin. And anal sex is a normal part of many couples sex life.
Another point, HPV will clear in most people and not result in cancer. for some reason, it did not clear in me and you. as I look back on my life in order to learn and change ... Stress and anxiety were common in my high stress profession ... I think it impacted negatively on my immune system Leaving me at risk for abnormal cell growth. The past is the key to changing our future. I now meditate more, worry less and cut myself a break for my "humanity". Hopefully these changes will help me to be healthier in the future. It took me two years to begin to see my learning through cancer ... And I'm still not "there".
okay, enough there
There is great work being done at UCSF where there is a well-known dysplasia clinic ... One day anal pap will be a more recognized preventative screening.
Causation is important to understand for future prevention and identification ... We need to recognize cause, however our work is to find a team of physicians we trust, educate ourselves, make decent treatment decisions, reconcile with the past, and move toward a healthy future. Having been through this terrible journey .... I realize this us not easy.