We recently are inundated with ads on TV for a new vaccine against HPV, and a new test for it which women are being urged to get at the same time that they get their pap smears.
I sat with a 52 yr. old woman patient who died recently from cervical cancer caused by HPV. It was an excruciatingly painful death for her. She was not accurately diagnosed until she was stage 4 cancer with a tumor that had grown from her cervix, up her spine, and was in her brain at the time of diagnosis. She had haunted her gynecologists, switching them several times per year because none of them was finding the reason for her intense lower abdomen pain. She had several pap smears and blood tests a year up until they finally did an MRI which found the tumor. At her death, you could visibly see the tumor that had overcome her entire body. She was literally skin, bones, and tumor. Mostly tumor, growing down her arms and legs and filling her abdominal cavity. It seemed this picture is what they should be showing on the TV ads rather than a group of giggling girls saying “I didn`t know you could get cancer from a virus!”
Just after her passing, all these ads came out. Her nurses had told me that in the 50`s is the age that the virus matures and is diagnosable as cancer. It seems that the generation which fought for sexual freedom, my generation, is falling from this virus. Enough of them for there to arise a vaccine and a new test and the expensive ad campaigns to go with them. The pap smear was previously thought to be the marker for finding if there was a problem with this virus and any cancer cells growing. Now it is known that it is not enough.
I worry about this new generation of women who will take this vaccine thinking they are “home free” and able to maintain sexual freedom. I worry that this vaccine has not been tested long enough to know what side effects or mutations it may create.
My generation thought we were free by using birth control, the side effects from which we are still suffering and discovering. Sex now is not ever free. There is always a great risk and price. Human Papiloma is one of the viruses you can contract with a condom on. Herpes is another. “Safe sex” is not really safe. There are female condoms, but no one wears them. And truth be told, HPV can be contracted orally, creating throat cancer. And we all know the many scary diseases contractible without a condom. That is one issue….
Another “invisible” issue is that nothing is being said about men having HPV, being tested for it, and the possible relationship to the great numbers of prostate and testicular cancer breaking out for men in their 50`s. It seems obvious to me that if 70% of cervical cancer is caused by HPV, then what about prostate and testicular cancer? Why is no one making this relationship? Why are men not being tested and offered a vaccine as well?
But, the most important issue to me about this is finding a NATURAL solution. So far I have found that there is a test to discover which of 3 known ways do you, as a woman, download estrogen. Apparently only one of these ways is susceptible to cancer. There are also 4 known strains of HPV, only one of which makes cancer. It seems that you can test for the HPV to see if you have the strain that makes cancer. If not, test for the estrogen downloading type and if you find that you do not have the kind of downloading cycle that creates cancer there is possibly no reason to get the vaccine. And, in which case there is great reason to resist the legislation that prepubescent girls be enforced to take the vaccine before it has been tested long enough to see the side effects and the girls have been tested to see if they are vulverable to the disease based upon their estrogen downloading.
I am still in search of the way to alleviate the virus from the body. At the moment exploring Homeopathic solutions. Also, it seems to me, having a way to alleviate it from a prospective partner is important as well. Apparently 75% of sexually active adults carry this virus. It would be very nice to have a solution for protecting ourselves.
I am actively in pursuit of the answers to how we all can protect ourselves from such a horribly painful out come of one of the most delightful of God’s given pleasures.