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Human papillomavirus (HPV)

HPV is the world’s most common sexually transmitted infection (STI). It is spread by skin-to-skin contact. HPV can infect surfaces of the skin, lining of the mouth, tongue, throat, tonsils, vagina, penis, cervix, and anus. Most people who get HPV won’t have any signs or symptoms and spread the disease without even knowing.

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The human papillomavirus impacts not only the person who was diagnosed but those around them

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HPV and Cancers

  • Can stay asleep in a person’s body for up to 30 years
  • Treated by removing genital warts, treating pre-cancer or cancer
  • If you get HPV, and you also smoke cigarettes, this makes it much more likely that you will get cancer

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*Human papillomavirus (HPV) Prevention and HPV Vaccines: Questions and Answers. Government of Canada.

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Cancers Caused by HPV

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4 Out of 5

have had HPV at some point in their life

*Government of Canada. "Genital HPV Infection - Fact Sheet." Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 20 Mar. 2014.




"The most powerful statement we could say about HPV right now is that unlike most cancers, cervical cancer is detectable and preventable before it turns into full-blown cancer"


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HPV Awareness is a National, bilingual, registered charity established in 2002, empowering Canadians to make informed healthy choices about their relationships and sexuality.

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Despite your cancer being advanced it does not mean that your health will deteriorate immediately. Women with incurable cancer can live life as normally as possible depending on their individual situation such as the type of treatment you require to manage your cancer and any symptoms you may be experiencing. This may mean you may require support from health/social care or through adaptations enabling you to lead as independent a life as possible.

There may be some adjustments to be made to your lifestyle. For example, you might find you get tired more easily and breaking any planned activities into small chunks in case you need a break. Planning more restful activities can be helpful but let your body guide you as to what you can and cannot do. Over time it is likely that you will have increasing health issues (both physical and emotional) to manage, and you may need more treatment to help with controlling these issues. Your health care team will be able to help you choose the right treatment.

Remember to tell your health team about any new symptoms so that they can help you manage these. Your health care team may refer you to physiotherapy and/ or occupational therapy services, these specialists can recommend exercises, help with mobility aids and manage breathlessness and suggest adaptations within your home that might help you and your family.

Going to Work

Some women facing an incurable cancer are able and wish to continue working. This is entirely up to you and your own situation. Working can be important because it provides stability, normality and an opportunity to think about other things in a safe environment. Do talk to your employer about the type of support you require, this may change over time. Your employer may be able to tailor your working hours or the nature of your work according to your needs.

Let your body be your guide, if you feel things are not manageable do make sure you seek support.

 


"Managing your Lifestyle." Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust. N.p., 19 Aug. 2013. Web. 02 Mar. 2015.