...to women and any Catholic doctors out there...


#1

I just found out that a very close friend of mine has cervical cancer. I am so scared, because we are so young and I guess I never believed that this sort of thing could happen to young people or at least not young people whom I love so much. I mean, there’s knowing and there’s believing, you know what I mean?

anyways, I want to be supportive if I can be. I am reading various web-sources on-line… and I have some questions from what I am reading as applies to myself and testing and as it applies to the disease in general. I’m not sure how or if my having some knowledge of this disease will help my friend, but…

The first thing I am reading is that “All women should begin cervical cancer testing (screening) about 3 years after they begin having vaginal intercourse, but no later than when they are 21 years old.” … I am wondering - should someone get these tests done - the pap smear and whatnot - if they remain a virgin?

I ask because my doctor wanted to do one on me if certain symptoms continued (which they have for more than a year now), and I simply never went back to get it done because I was afraid of what it would mean… would it break my… hymen or whatever it’s called? would it make me… not phyiscally a virgin anymore?

also, can cervical cancer ONLY be caused by sexual intercourse or promiscuity or from HPV? because the articles I can find seem to suggest so… which would make me wonder why a virgin would bother to ever get tested… there must be other possible linked causes… maybe abortion? or genetics? or pre-birth issues (it alludes to something there, but I can’t understand the term. I am googling it soon, though)…

I think that’s it for now…

oh, and of course, I ask for your prayers asw ell. for my best friend, whom I love, and for myself that I can be the best possible support for her, that Christ can totally take over and that He will use me as a vessel for His awesome love and healing… she’s not Christian, or Catholic, but… I know He loves her anyways, and I would rather love her with His love as mine is so imperfect…

in Christ,
Esther Rose


#2

Your hymen is not more important than your health! If you are having symptoms that lead your doctor to believe you need to have your cervix checked out, then by all means go and get tested! Even if your hymen is broken, you are still a virgin until you have had sexual intercourse. Girls can break or tear their hymens from really active sports, riding horses, accidental injuries, etc. This was one of the reasons girls used to be encouraged to remain so sedentary.

Cancer is when cells start dividing out of control in abnormal ways, causing tumors. Cervical cancer is often caused by HPV but not always. My mother had a hysterectomy for pre-cancerous changes in her cervix, and as far as I know, she never had HPV. It can be caused by genetic mutations, other viruses, lots of things.

As far as I know, though, Pap smears don’t break the hymen. They use a very skinny Q-tip type thing to collect the cells. If a girl can insert a tampon without breaking her hymen, then that little Q-tip can certainly get through there. The membrane has an opening in the middle, it does not stretch all the way across. I had my first Pap smear before I became sexually active, and it didn’t hurt at all. It certainly didn’t break or tear anything, though the speculum was uncomfortable. That’s the instrument they use to “hold you open” so that they can see your cervix. Now, if they find some problem, and you have to proceed to a colposcopy (a more invasive test that surgically removes a small amount of cervical tissue), then that may indeed break your hymen as the instruments required are bigger.

I just can’t believe that anyone would think preserving their hymen was so important that they would risk something as serious as cancer! Get thee to a gynecologist, and find out whatever is causing the symptoms that are concerning your doctor.


#3

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