Is There A Relationship Between Sex And Cancer? By Dr. Daniel Linares (@LinaresMD)

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Is There A Relationship Between Sex And Cancer? By Dr. Daniel Linares (@LinaresMD)
Is There A Relationship Between Sex And Cancer? By Dr. Daniel Linares (@LinaresMD)
Video: Is There A Relationship Between Sex And Cancer? By Dr. Daniel Linares (@LinaresMD)
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Is there a relationship between sex and cancer? The answer is yes! When men and women begin an active sex life, the chances of contracting the virus called Human Papillomavirus or HPV increase

This virus has many serotypes of which many only cause genital warts and are completely benign. But there are some more dangerous ones that can cause cervical cancer, also known as "cervix". Having protected sex is sometimes not enough to prevent contraction of this virus, which makes it one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in the world; and cervical cancer is the second most common type of cancer worldwide.

This has a big impact on Latina women as studies show us that they are more likely to be diagnosed at a more advanced stage, when cervical cancer is much more difficult to treat.

However, since cervical cancer develops over time, it is also one of the most preventable with vaccination and appropriate examinations, such as the Pap test that was introduced in 1945. This test was invented by Dr. Papanicolaou (which bears his name) where a sample is taken from the cervical area and the cells are studied to see if there are changes indicative of possible cancer. This study is indicated in all women as soon as they start being sexually active and should be repeated once a year.

Another preventive measure for cervical cancer is the vaccine called Gardisil which was approved for use in 2006. This vaccine must be started for both sexes before they become sexually active. For now in the US, the vaccine is offered to both sexes from the ages of 11 to 12 years. This vaccine helps not only decrease the chance of cancer, but also decrease cases of genital warts.

Of the 13,000 women in the United States who are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year, more than half have never had the appropriate tests or have not had them done in the past 5 years, despite the fact that 4,000 die each year given to this sickness.

Tip of the week: January is Cervical Health Awareness Month. Remember to call your doctor and ask if you need your Pap test and if you have not been vaccinated ask for more information, which all doctors have in our clinics.

By Dr. Daniel Linares

IG: @LinaresMD

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