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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Cervical Cancer

Related Women's Issues

These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

Cervical Cancer
Question: I have been diagnosed with and treated for carcinoma in situ of the cervix. My concern is that I was told it was caused by the papilloma virus. It is my understanding that I could have contracted this virus strictly through sexual contact. Is that accurate? Neither me nor my husband have ever had sex with anyone other than each other. He has warts on his elbows, but that's it. I have never had any warts. I guess I'm really just wondering if it's possible to have this virus and not really know how, when, or where it came from.

Answer: There are several causes of cancer of the cervix. Papilloma virus is a common one. We currently do not know the complete transmission history of this virus. Some women have been documented to have this virus who have never had intercourse. This has led some to wonder if it is transmitted from mother to fetus at birth. Although it clearly can and is transmitted sexually, there is clearly some other avenue of transmission.

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