By: Dr. Thomas Incledon
Is cervical cancer linked to losing your virginity at a young age? And, could it have life-altering effects?
What we know based on research and data from around the world is that when you have sex at a young age and you have multiple partners, you are a higher-risk for contracting any number of sexually-transmitted diseases and viruses. The concern with some of these STDs, specifically certain strains of HPV or human papillomavirus, is that they can lead to developing cervical cancer.
Even with this added risk, cervical cancer occurs in less than 200,000 women per year in the U.S. Because of this low frequency, many young women are unaware of risk factors and symptoms for this type of cancer. Common symptoms are pain from intercourse and pelvic/groin pain that may be intermittent. With these occasional symptoms, women can often overlook these warning signs and attribute them to other ailments. As the cancer progresses, women may experience weight loss, fatigue, and nausea.
As with many other cancers, people can develop stage IV cervical cancer without knowing. This is true for women ranging in age from about 19-60, including those who were eating healthy and exercising. Knowing this is yet another reason screening and early detection is key. In the case of cervical cancer, this means a yearly checkup with a gynecologist who can conduct various tests to determine if unhealthy cells are present in the cervix and/or if a woman has HPV. HPV can also be detected through a saliva test. Being aware of pre-cancerous cells or of an active viral strain can save your life in the case of cervical cancer since both can be precursors of developing cancer and can lead to prevention.
Unfortunately, even cervical cancer survivors can be left with long-term, life-altering results, specifically regarding fertility and the ability to give birth naturally. And, these cases can be very complex.
- If a woman has cervical cancer that spreads to her reproductive tissues, the cancerous cells can often be removed with surgery leaving the patient cancer-free. However, because of the surgery, reproductive organs may not function properly or must be removed. For women who want to become pregnant, this can be a real challenge.
- If it is discovered that you have cervical cancer during pregnancy, things can be extremely complicated, and it is paramount that you have a team of doctors working with you to take into account all concerns. Doctors will want to save the baby and mom; an oncologist’s responsibility is to treat the cancer and OB/Gyn has to consider how treatment will affect the fetus. They need to partner together to create a plan that treats the cancer with minimal threat to the baby.
Because cervical cancer can affect a woman’s long-term health and fertility, it is important to be aware of the risks and preventative measures at an early age. Talking about it leads to awareness, which is essential in saving lives.
To understand more about treatment options for cervical cancer with Causenta, schedule a complimentary 30-minute consultation.
About the Author
Dr. Thomas is the founder and CEO of Causenta Wellness, and the Causenta Cancer Treatment Center in Arizona. From working with NFL, MLB, MMA, World Class athletes and even the White House, his reputation of personalized medicine and cutting-edge technologies has put him on the map, caring for some of the most powerful people in the world, making him one of the most sought-after healthcare professionals of all time.