Hi, now I know I’m HPV positive I am also worrying about the risks of other cancers, like throat. Does anyone else have these thoughts and know what the risk is? I feel I’m going into a hole.
Put it this way, anyone who has ever had, not even full sex, but sexual contact with someone can be considered to have HPV now or have had it in the past or have contracted it years ago and it be lying dormant, so it really isn’t worth thinking about in those terms.
Which I totally know is a very easy thing to say and another when you first get a positive test.
I feel like I knew all the sensible things, that it’s incredibly common, that it’s absolutely not something “dirty”, but it wasn’t something I’d really given much thought to - I was too old when the vaccine first came out, so didn’t even have that kind of first-hand experience of it.
I was really worried about it, probably quite irrationally. I wasn’t actually worried about where it came from because of knowing how common it is and not associating it with things like cheating or promiscuity. I did worry about my partner, more in terms of not knowing how much he would know or understand about it - would he freak out thinking I had given it to him or that he had maybe given it to me? Would us both most likely having it mean we’d get caught in an endless cycle of reinfecting each other? Would it mean I’d eventually get CC? Would we wake up one day covered in genital warts? My mind went into meltdown.
My consultant was quite blunt about it and said I had to knock that way of thinking on the head immediately. He was able to tell me that I didn’t have a strain that’s high risk for cancer or one that causes genital warts, but he was like “There are hundreds of strains - I’m not going to tell you what they all do and don’t do, you don’t want to know and more importantly, you don’t NEED to know. Look after yourself like a normal human being, engage with screening programmes that are there to protect you, see a doc when you have a concern, but don’t sit braced and expecting to find one.”
He was really quite cross - not at me, he was lovely to me - about the general lack of education around these things.