I am going to be blunt here in this article and no, I am not sorry. You see, my throat cancer is a direct correlation of my sexual promiscuity which is something I was struggling in the past with for many many years. This cancer was a wake up call and I really believe I will end up celebrant for the rest of my life.
I was infected by the Human Papilomavirus or HPV for short. The only way to get the HPV virus is thru sexual contact. Here is the scary part, at any one time, over 26 Million Americans are infected by a strain of the HPV. The only way to know if you are infected is to get a test done but that doesn’t really say a whole lot because you may not know when you were infected and it’s only good for the mouth. There is really no test, unless you are a woman and you get your annual Pap smear, to see if you are infected in your sexual organs. This is scary but there is some good news.
Even if you are infected, you body tends to get rid of the HPV virus in about 2 years. Again, you wouldn’t know. You will think you have a simple infection of some sort or a cough and over time it goes away. You are all the none wiser. This is due to the number of different variations of the HPV; over 100! But out of that 100 there are really only 6 to 9 that are really bad and cause cancer. Again, if you are like me and get stuck with one of the bad ones, the symptoms doesn’t show up right away. As in my case, it took my left neck to swell to go see the doctor and by then I already had two cancerous growths in my neck. A little late if you ask me. Out of all those 26 Million infected with HPV, there are roughly 3,000 new cases of HPV strain 16 on men that have developed into throat cancer.
Here is the sad part, there is actually a vaccine for these bad strains of cancer. According to the CDC, there are 3 types of vaccines available and Gardasil is the only one that provides a vaccine against all 9 strains of HPV that causes cancer. Unfortunately, as an older guy, these vaccines will do nothing for me. But if I was younger, I would have. This is something I don’t wish even my worst enemy to go thru with the chemo and radiation treatment all with a Trach in my neck.
So yes, in my past, I did activities that I am not proud of and I do regret. It has affected my marriage which is something I cherished. As I read more about HPV, I learned that the more sexually active one is, the more prevalent one will get infected with a strain that will eventually lead to some type of cancer. For me, it was in my throat.
So if I had any advise I would say that if you are eligible to get vaccinated against the HPV, regardless if you are male or female, do it.