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HPV vaccination post treatment?

Jambro's picture
Jambro
Posts: 12
Joined: Jul 2018

Hi there, wondering if anyone has any recommendation or experience regarding getting the vaccine post treatment. My MO mentioned it a visit or two ago as a possible extra precautionary measure in preventing recurrence or preventing getting another hpv related cancer. I can't remember exactly what he said, but it was something to that effect. He definitely indicated that there is not enough data on the topic at this point, but that it may be worth lookimg into anyway. I imagine that it would likely not be covered by insurance, but if it's not too expensive, it might be worth a try. I haven't seen him since my NED on November 25th, but I see him at the end of January. He'll probably tell me to go ahead if I want to do it. Any thoughts?

Thanks, Jambro

wbcgaruss's picture
wbcgaruss
Posts: 242
Joined: May 2018

Looks like it is recommended for anyone post or pre-cancer--

https://www.cancer.net/blog/2017-08/young-cancer-survivors-arent-getting-hpv-vaccine-why

Here is a link to the general search on it--

https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1&q=hpv+vaccination+post+cancer

Jambro's picture
Jambro
Posts: 12
Joined: Jul 2018

Thanks Russ, looks like there are a lot of varying opinions, I guess there's so much still to be learned about HPV. Also seems like it has a lot of traction and momentum as far as getting more recogniton and focus. Or maybe it's like getting a prticular kinda new car and suddenly you notice a lot more on the road than you did when you drove a different one. 

ByeByeCancer
Posts: 49
Joined: Sep 2017

I read somewhere recently that the HPV vaccine now has an expanded age range for which it is recommended.  I think it was bumped up from 27 to 45.  My husband is 48 and asked his doctor about it but the doctor didn't seem to think that my husband needs the vaccine at this point.  He has had no evidence of disease since finishing treatment in November 2017!  I'd like to follow this thread because I have wondered about whether or not the vaccine would provide a little extra insurance and help prevent a recurrence.

Jambro's picture
Jambro
Posts: 12
Joined: Jul 2018

I think the age range has to do with whether or not insurance covers the vaccine, although I'm not sure. I think I will call the health department and see what they have to say as faf as that goes. If it is not terribly expensive, i may consider it, but still need to learn more details. Thanks for your response. Jamey

SuzJ
Posts: 316
Joined: Mar 2017

My ENT said, if you are sexually active, its too late.

Seige
Posts: 4
Joined: Apr 2018

I’ve been told that it’s like chicken pox.  Once you’ve had it, to late for the vaccine.

ERomano's picture
ERomano
Posts: 22
Joined: Dec 2018

Post Tx vaccination was never mentioned to me, neither was my risk of being re-infected if I were to become sexually active again.  What I was told before starting my treatments was that I probably got the virus when I when I was in my 20s or 30s, it took up residence and remained dormant until 30+ years late, then became cancerous.  So maybe they figure at this point it doesn't matter if I'm reinfected because I'd likely be in my 90s or no longer living by the time it became cancerous.

I have my 9 month checkup at the beginning of April (fortunately not on April fools day!), but I think I'm only meeting with one doc - the surgeon, who will scope my throat. The other two will be nurse practitioners.  Might be a good time to bring up this discussion.

OKCnative's picture
OKCnative
Posts: 311
Joined: Jun 2017

My doctor told me that so little is known about HPV that if I wanted the vaccine I should pursue it, but he couldn't give me any percentages of it's success.

The problem is there are so many different strains. Plus, you may be exposed at one point in your life, shed the virus naturally, but become exposed again and it could become cancerous.

The fact that most often a spouse of a cancer patient with HPV does not also develop cancer shows how unpredictable the virus is and how it's not like most any other similar virus.

There is no harm in getting the vaccination, it just may not help either.

Jambro's picture
Jambro
Posts: 12
Joined: Jul 2018

Thanks for all the good advice and feedback. There seem to be a lot of varying opinions everywhere I've  looked, that's for sure. I will meet with my MO again at the end of this month. If it is not too costly and if there is even just a slight chance of helping, I may do it as a possible preventative measure.  Thanks a lot

Drivingdaisy's picture
Drivingdaisy
Posts: 185
Joined: May 2016

Havent had sex since diagnosis, actually a little while before but not sure about it now 3 yrs later NED.  Haven’t been a topic I have approached with My Drs.  Don’t want to pass on if it is now lying dormant again.  No one deserves this. Any thoughts on this post?  Been Married over 41/yrs but neither of Us were monogamist.  We had a rough marriage from the start.  But cheated later.  What if he was the one who gave it to Me, sure don’t want it again, & I am not that cruel to give it to him.  Was told it was the real cause of My Cancer though I smoked & drank.  They contribute.  Guess may need to have the discussion with My ENT, the most compassionate of the whole group.

ERomano's picture
ERomano
Posts: 22
Joined: Dec 2018

...at my last checkup.  But I put a snarky response in it... something like "This is a joke, right?" because it's been next to impossible for me to establish a relationship since my wife passed away 15 years ago (I was busy raisy kids and such).  But I need to set aside my personal frustration and find out what they know on the subject because one never knows what the futrure might bring. If they treat 100 cases a year, and have been for 10 years or more, you would think they would have some worthwhile info on thr subject since it's yet another major quality of life issue.  However, I'm in a more difficult position than most in that I have no understanding spouse and would have to explain to a new potential partner that I had a tongue cancer that was caused by a [more than likely] sexually transmited disease.  Yeah, like thate's going to go over well.  

OKCnative's picture
OKCnative
Posts: 311
Joined: Jun 2017

I don't get all the stigma survivors of SCC HPV+ put on themselves when it comes to sex. At your age, and single, any sexual partner you choose will have already been exposed to HPV many many times throughout their life. If you're married and become diagnosed with HPV, stopping intercourse does nothing but put unnecessary strain on your relationship. You've done exposed each other to HPV ever since you got together. Look around, how many posters here, that were treated for SCC HPV, also have infected spouses with an SCC diagnosis - are there even any? The reason women get a yearly exam is because the doctor is looking for an "abnormal pap smear" - guess what that would actually most likely be a sign of..... you guessed it, HPV. HPV is so common they estimate as much at 90% of sexually active adults have it or have been exposed to it. Just because you developed SCC from HPV doesn't mean you have some super strain of HPV, it means YOUR BODY reacted in a way to HPV that it developed into cancer.

My wife and I will be celebrating 20-years together this year. Not once did our sex lives change because of the diagnosis. We had sex prior to the diagnosis, during treatment and probably even more so post treatment (closing in on 2 years post now) as we were so happy to have this journey behind us.

SCC HPV took enough away from you, don't allow it to take even more.

ERomano's picture
ERomano
Posts: 22
Joined: Dec 2018

I went back and read some of the earlier discussions on the topic of sex after treatments.  I suppose I should have read those first before commenting here.  I know I need to learn as much as I can about HPV and the statistics that you mention so that I csn be better prepared to explain myaself when/if the time comes because I would not want to conceal a single detail to a potential SO.  It's not as much a stigma that I'm attaching to myself as it's what kind of stigma others (i.e. women) will attach to me.  Trust me, it will not be taken lightly.

You are a very fortunate and blessed man to be in the relationaship you're in. I will heed the words in your last comment.

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