Cervical Cancer

I was watching Dr. Oz the other day with my Mother and Sister and the subject was Teen Sex. We debated for awhile about whether Dr. Oz’s show is propaganda or if it’s a true health show designed to educate Americans on issues they don’t have a lot of knowledge about with a slight propaganda undertone. We stopped mid-sentence in our debate when Dr. Oz began quoting the statistics about Teen STD’s.

Naturally, when we think about Teen Sex the first concern that comes to mind is Teen Pregnancy and that is a real concern. We know from watching MTV’s 16 and Pregnant it’s not all coming up roses when teenagers get pregnant and are faced with the choices of raising a child while they’re still a child of their own, giving their child up for adoption (Catelynn and Tyler) or taking the life of their child before it’s had a chance to take its first breath. Teens who are all caught up in being on Team Edward are disillusioned if they have read the last book in the Twilight series to believe that if you accidentally get pregnant as a teen there will be a responsible and loving teenage man to gaze into your eyes with love, sit by your bedside as you are in pain and provide fully and completely for the child once he or she is born. Teens want to believe this and for some odd reason we want them to believe this, thus leaving them fully unable to support the reality that awaits them.

However, Dr. Oz and his special analyst on Teen Sex dropped some amazing statistics on Teen STD’s…specifically the STD that causes 90% of  Cervical Cancer cases in the women affected. 1 in 3 sexually active teens between the ages of 15 and 19 are infected with HPV, the STD that has become dubbed the new oral, anal and cervical cancer because it has been leading in causing those kinds of cancers in many who are affected.

Interestingly enough, all of this can be prevented. Gardacil is the vaccine that has been created for both young boys and girls between the ages of 9 and 26 that protects against 4 strands of Cervical Cancer and then of course there’s the old tried and true method of abstinence.  A method that doesn’t come without high parental involvement, conversation and commitment to their children. A method that is worth the life of your child.

Four years ago I went to my doctor for my annual Womanly Check-up and left with the information that I had an irregular growth of cells on my Cervix and was going to need to return for follow-up treatment. The first return visit my doctor, whom I love very much and trust to have my absolute best interest in mind but whom I HATED that day, cut out a piece of my cervix in order to bioposy the abnormal cell growth, which had already doubled since my previous visit. I have never felt such intense pain as I did in that moment and was completely unprepared for both that and for the journey surrounding my cervix that lay ahead.

From there, I went to the doctor again and again during which times he froze a piece of my cervix off, burnt a piece of my cervix off and the battle continued.  It’s not a joke, four years later I am still living with an abnormal growth of cells on my cervix, at times they lie dormant and at other times I have to battle them back into submission. There was no Gardacil for me between the ages of 9 and 26 and interestingly enough there was no HPV for me either but my point is that with education, conversation and a proactive approach we can protect our Teens from making choices that can diminish or even end their lives as they know it.

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