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I am 50, married 25 years, just diagnosed with cervical cancer

By October 19, 2012 - 2:25pm
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Hello, I am trying to deal with the new diagnosis of cervical cancer. I have been married for 25 years. 23 years ago, I had a pap smear that indicated pre-cancerous cervical cancer. I had a cone, and from then...had a child..20 years of normal paps...and I missed pap for last three years. Because I had normal periods, married, all seemed good I was not as concerned as I should be about the pap. 10 weeks ago, I developed what I thought was a uti/bladder/kidney infection. Now,, doctor is telling me I have cervical cancer :( This has started some very difficult discussions with husband, who is admitting to everything in the world...except having sex with someone else. UGGGGGH. I need an answer...some help....HOW could I have cervical cancer unless infected by husband? My doctor said it is virtually impossible for the 'pre-cancerous' cells from 23 years ago to have formed in to this. She 'gently' suggested I had been re-infected. SO....does this mean my husband DID cheat on me? (based on his reaction, I now beliieve this is possible) HELP...I DO need to know, so I can move forward :(

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EmpowHER Guest

Yes. It sounds like he cheated. The virus typically clears within 2 years. Also...I know a woman who caught high risk hpv and has cervical cancer..she developed cancer in her 20's...and is still fighting it off in her 30's...chemo and all. It did not take 20+ years for her to develop cancer. If you research it..youll see that high risk strains do damage very quickly...like months to a few short years. I am sorry to be the one to tell you the truth. Look it up. Dont just trust everything you are told.

November 2, 2015 - 12:09pm

I am not a medical expert on HPV, or any other STD. Logically, based on how the virus acts, an infected carrier can reinfect his or her sexual partner, even in a monogamous relationship. The infected partner may not be shedding the virus continuously. The virus can be dormant for a time, then become active again.

I suggest that you and your husband consult an infectious disease specialist, who can answer your questions and discuss your concerns.


October 22, 2012 - 4:47pm
EmpowHER Guest

If HPV is infectious...then how does one monogamous 'couple' keep from continually re-infecting each other? 23 yrs ago, when diagosed with pre-cancerous cells in cervix, doctor never mentioned the condition as part of an hvp 'infection'. I (ignorantly?) assumed that it was nothing to worry about. Husband is the only partner I have ever had. If the virus originated from him, then does this mean we have passed it back and forth for 25 years? In other words....Women are treated (cancers removed) for this condition, only to be reinfected the next time they have sex with their partner?

October 20, 2012 - 7:50am

Hello RayeB,

I can appreciate how upset you are.

Has your gynecologist confirmed that your case of cervical cancer is caused by HPV infection? Cervical cancer is almost always caused by human papillomavirus infection.

According to the CDC fact sheet, a person can have HPV even if years have passed since he or she had sexual contact with an infected person. Most infected persons do not realize they are infected or that they are passing the virus on to a sex partner. Most people with HPV do not develop symptoms or heath problems from it. In 90% of cases, the body's immune system clears HPV naturally within two years. But, sometimes, HPV infections are not cleared and can cause genital warts and cervical cancer.

The journey ahead of you will be a difficult one. As a cancer survivor, I an aware of the implications of chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery. Your body and your spirit will be strained. You will need the support of your family and friends.

Before undergoing the recommended treatments, you need to work out the issue of possible infidelity with your husband. I cannot say if he was infected with HPV long before he met you and the infection remained dormant. I cannot say if he has been unfaithful.


October 19, 2012 - 4:26pm
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