DR. CORY: Semen enhancing cervical tumours

condomCervical cancer is now one of the most common cancers in women overall. Cancer is a disease in which the cells in the body develop out of control. When cancer starts in the cervix, it is called cervical cancer. Cancer of the cervix is often deadly as it metastasizes or spreads to other parts of the body.

Cervical cancers don’t always spread, but those that do most often spread to the lungs, the liver, the bladder, the vagina, and the rectum.

The cervix is the lower, narrow end of the uterus. The cervix connects the vagina (birth canal) to the uterus. The uterus (or womb) is where a baby grows when a woman is pregnant.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the main cause of cervical cancer. HPV is a common virus that is passed from one person to another during sex. Unfortunately, at least half of sexually active people will have HPV at some point in their lives. However, not all women will get cervical cancer but all women are at elevated risk.

A hormone-like molecule found in semen called prostaglandin could facilitate the development of cervical cancer. Researchers found that the high concentration of prostaglandin in semen makes other diseases of the female reproductive organs worse as well – including uterine cancers.

Prostaglandins present in semen can influence the progression of cervical and uterine cancers by enhancing tumour growth according to Dr Jabbour, lead researcher at the Medical Research Council’s Human Reproductive Sciences Unit.

The cells that line the female reproductive organs are known to naturally produce prostaglandin. However, the concentration of prostaglandin in semen is 1000 times higher than that normally found in these cells.

Prostaglandin receptors are present on the surface of the cells that make up cervical and uterine cancer tumours. The influx of prostaglandin delivered by semen creates abnormal signaling between cells and can trigger an increase in tumour growth.

Although prostaglandins do not cause cervical cancer directly, this research shows that seminal fluid can contribute to tumour growth when other risk factors are present.

“Sexually active women who are at risk of cervical or uterine cancer should encourage their partners to wear a condom to prevent increased exposure to the prostaglandins that might make their condition worse,” according to Dr Jabbour.

The majority of cases occur in midlife rather than old age and it is one of the most common cancers in women under 35. Preventative cervical screening programmes can cut cervical cancer death rates and provide a means of early detection. When cervical cancer is found early, it is highly treatable and is often associated with long survival and good quality of life outcomes.

Types of cervical cancer

There are two main types of cervical cancers: squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma. About 80 to 90 per cent of cervical cancers are squamous cell carcinomas. Squamous cell carcinomas starts in the surface of the cells that line the cervix that can rapidly multiply into active cancer.

Cervical adenocarcinomas seem to have become more common in the past 20 to 30 years but still only make up 5 to 10 per cent of cervical cancers. This form is more difficult to detect as it often starts higher up in the cervical canal and is commonly missed by a screening test.

Although most cervical cancers are either squamous cell carcinomas or adenocarcinomas, other types of cancer also can develop in the cervix as well. These types include melanoma, sarcoma, and lymphoma but they are more likely to occur in other parts of the body.

Symptoms of cervical cancer

Cervical cancer is often silent. In the early stages there are usually no symptoms and that’s the purpose of screenings to pick up abnormal cells before it’s too late. Once cancer is established, the most common symptom is bleeding between periods or after sex. Menstrual bleeding may also be heavier or last longer than normal.

Other common symptoms include pain in the pelvic area before, during or after intercourse as well as pain or difficult urination. Another red flag is any sort of unusual or unpleasant smelling discharge from the vagina. However, these symptoms may indicate other problems than cervical cancer as well.

Risk factors for cervical cancer

It’s common to have multiple sexually transmitted infections that may act in combination to complicate and weaken one’s immune system.  The number of sexual partners significantly increases one’s risk of HPV, chlamydia and HIV.  Having sex at a young age and not using barrier contraceptives such as condoms will encourage transmission and cancer development.

Oral contraceptive use is also associated with an increased risk of cervical cancer according to the National Cancer Institute. However, sexually active women using oral contraceptives have a higher risk of becoming infected with human papillomavirus, which is the main cause of cervical cancers.

Pap testing for cervical cancer

The Pap test (or Pap smear) and the human papilloma virus (HPV) test are often used in pre-cancerous screenings. If pre-cancerous lesions are found, they can often be treated thus stopping cervical cancer before it becomes deadly. Pap testing is considered safe and has very few side effects.  The benefits definitely outweigh any risk.

Recommendations may vary but all women should begin cervical cancer screening by age 21. Women aged 21 to 29 are generally recommended to have a Pap test every 3 years. Beginning at age 30, the most common way to screen is with a Pap test combined with an HPV test every 5 years. Consult with your doctor to determine the correct frequency specifically for you.

Even those that have been vaccinated against HPV should still be routinely screened, as any vaccine is not 100 per cent effective.  Women who have abnormal test results may need to have more frequent follow-ups done in 6 months or a year to monitor the situation closely.

Although Pap tests are widely accepted as the most effective screening procedure in the prevention of cancer, it’s still not perfect. Limitations exist as it needs to be examined by humans and humans make mistakes.  Despite technology, hundreds of thousands of cells need accurate examination to properly diagnosis the condition.

Preparing for a Pap test

The best time to obtain the most accurate results from a gynecological examination and Pap test is one or two weeks after one’s period. Try not to schedule the appointment for a time during your menstrual period.

Vaginal douching is generally a good idea due to the risk of infection. If douching is practiced, it is important not to douche for at least two or three days before one’s appointment.

Do not use tampons, birth control foams, jellies or other vaginal type creams, moisturizers or lubricants for at least 48 hours prior to the test. It’s also important to refrain from sexual intercourse for at least a day.

Dr Cory Couillard is an international healthcare speaker and columnist for numerous newspapers, magazines, websites and publications throughout the world. He works in collaboration with the World Health Organization’s goals of disease prevention and global healthcare education. Views do not necessarily reflect endorsement.

Email: drcorycouillard@gmail.com

Facebook: Dr Cory Couillard

Twitter: DrCoryCouillard

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29 Comments

  1. April 4, 2018

    is there any way prevent cervical cancer

  2. Ja
    April 4, 2013

    All good reasons for one to remain single. Make use of dildos and sex toys. Life is perfect for me without a dude slamming on my cervix. Infact, i’m thinking of becoming a nun. Absentee is the greatest.

  3. Anonymous
    April 4, 2013

    so are you telling us married women to have a condom every time it is time for intimacy? whether you are fertile or not? how sad!!!!!!

  4. stern
    April 3, 2013

    what is all this talk about hpv all of a sudden? these doctors and pharmacutical companies just out to make money on people. like micheal jackson said “they dont really care about us!”

    • budman
      April 4, 2013

      are you this uneducated? this virus has been around for years!

    • Bas
      April 4, 2013

      I see your point. All these new ‘education’ is a massive sale strategy for their HPV Vaccination.

      No harm intended, Dr. Cory.

  5. Roseau
    April 3, 2013

    Ummm to me the hand in the pic could look a little cleaner, but I read and got the message but the hands not promoting good hygiene in protected sex at all..

  6. Light
    April 3, 2013

    All the more reason to remain monogamous. Do not cheat. Stay faithful to your husband or your wife.

  7. Anonymous
    April 3, 2013

    God created SEX, He also created semen , he created the vagina, but he never created condoms…. food for thought… if semen was bad for the vagina he would not have created it as a way for one to bring life to this world… so free up the semen…God said be fruitful and multiply…

    • true dominican
      April 3, 2013

      ignorance is a bliss.

    • Anonymous
      April 3, 2013

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! I DED!

    • hmmm
      April 4, 2013

      What happened? The pharmacies are not selling enough condoms, so they need a way to make more money? After all, if semen was so dangerous, why is it necessary to conceive a child? And don’t give me all that D*** nonsense about test tube babies. When all our grandmothers had ten and twelve children, they didn’t get cervical cancer, so there must be something else that we’re doing wrong.

  8. dee
    April 3, 2013

    what story dat now?

    • Saysay
      April 4, 2013

      get educated on the subject and you’ll know “what story that now”

  9. April 3, 2013

    God knows what He has created from the beginning. He said He will not give us a snake for a fish or a stone for bread. Let’s just trust Him, He is Lord over all. However thanks for the info.

    • budman
      April 4, 2013

      what does this have to do with the article?

  10. Desert Cactus
    April 3, 2013

    The same act nature designed to give life is, n many instances, the same act it uses to take life. Sex is sacred. We must treat it as such.

  11. Anonymous
    April 3, 2013

    Thanks for the information DNO. :-D

  12. Sexually Active.
    April 3, 2013

    :-| They need to take that information up to the college and put the information as a source of Cervical cancer on the news paper. Not everyone that that Pc and alot of people love having that semen enter their body. Its fun, so am asking the Officials t Plz Print the Info as small as it is to the Public.

  13. BiGmE
    April 3, 2013

    See in the next ten years we going to need to stop breathing because research has show breathing destroys the longs and allow us to die faster. 8-O :?:

    • goet
      April 3, 2013

      yeah i was thinking the samething
      gosh man. just let us live and die in peace will u?
      saquay gass!!!!
      just if u think too much u dying… what in the %^*&#@ is wrong with those scientists?

      • Saysay
        April 4, 2013

        They are giving you information so you could learn something so you could live longer,DUMNA$$$$$$.

      • Wabblah
        October 2, 2013

        These Scientist get so bored and don’t really have a sex life so they try to ruin life for us!….. Smh!…. God is in control!…. Scientist are the ones killing us anyway, with their poisonous chemicals in food and medication….

    • For Richer Or Poorer
      April 3, 2013

      True that; look my doctor asked me if I can eat eggs without the yoke. You meant Lungs right?

      But this is very good information. Practicing safe sex should be a normal way of life.

      Women need to protect themselves and look after their own health, no one else but themselves can do that for them.

    • under the radar
      April 3, 2013

      lol i think this may be 50% fact and 50% discouraging unprotected sex and reproduction. we have populations growth problems and dwindling resources. not outside the realm of possibility though. anyway dig further for more statistics and always remember to consider the source of the research and on what type of people. i didn’t read in the article what type of people the stats were gathered from.

      • budman
        April 4, 2013

        so why are you commenting if you didn’t read the article? boy we like to promote ignorance in this country!

    • Tri-State Beauty
      April 3, 2013

      It’s ignorance like that which makes people assume we are not intelligent people. Reasearch is continuously evolving and if you had any idea how intense and time consuming such work can be to bring information to ingrates like you, you would hush.

  14. Big Mitch
    April 3, 2013

    thats a very interesting research . thanks dominica news online.

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