People used to believe that cancer was contagious, and people with cancer were reluctant to actually use the word if they were diagnosed with the disease. It became the ultimate ‘C’ word, an affliction akin to leprosy. Sometimes doctors did not tell patients they had cancer. It was tacitly understood but avoided. Fears of scary cancers and its fatal outcome reduced victims to a waiting immobility.
Today, all that has changed………or has it?
In fact, five cancers are known to be $exually transmitted through viruses, therefore somewhat contagious. What do we need to know about contagious cancers?
Having multiple $exual partners increases the risk of contracting the Human Papilloma Virus, or HPV. Most anal cancers are thought to be linked to HPV. HPV can be spread through hand or genital contact.
Symptoms include narrowing of stool, pain in the anal area, rectal bleeding and a feeling of fullness in the rectal area. Diagnosis is staged 0-IV and treated accordingly. Most of the time, surgery is prescribed for stage 0, with radiation and chemotherapy as well as surgery for more advanced stages of anal cancer. The five-year survival rate stands at about 65 percent for later stages, and 80 percent for earlier.
HPV virus is again implicated. In fact, it is the leading cause of throat cancer. Other forms of oral cancer, such as those in the mouth, are similarly transmitted through oral $exual contact. Symptoms include pain upon swallowing, ulcers or sores that don’t heal and persistent hoarseness or a sore throat. Weight loss may be a symptom, as well. Males are more susceptible to oral cancer. This cancer has about a 75 percent survival rate.
Like other cancers, oral cancer is staged 1-IV. It is treated by surgery, radiation or chemotherapy. Nutrition is an important part of the treatment. Survival rates after a year are 81 percent.