Anal Cancer is said to be the gay community’s next big crisis, according to The Los Angeles Times. In fact, the American Cancer Society describes the future for the gay community as grim due to this catastrophe. The organization also estimates that by the end of this year, there will be an additional of 8,200 new anal cancer cases.
The worst thing is that over 50% of these cases will be diagnosed at stage III or IV due to the absence of national screening recommendations. These cases have less than 40% on a 5-year survival period. Hence, this is what creates major public health concern, as well as the looming depression cases that come along with anal cancer.
A study shows that anal cancer results from HPV, a sexually transmitted virus. The reason of its wide affliction and susceptibility in the gay community is all in under wraps. In fact, the society is always dancing around the topic. What’s sure enough though is that women who engage in anal sex have a higher risk of contracting anal HPV, based on a study. There are also undisclosed non-sexual causes of anal HPV that are entirely vague and confusing – meaning more research and study is needed.
Since the topic of anal cancer and anal HPV seems to be a taboo to discuss, a lot of people inflicted with these illnesses end up keeping their conditions to themselves, even when they are already experiencing the symptoms. They also get depressed because this health issue is really taking a toll on their physical being. Depression is real and it can add more problems on top of cancer.
Based on a Hawaiian study, there is a higher risk of HPV for women who engage in anal sex, but the percentage is not as high as expected. Other causes of the transmission can be any of the following:
- Non-penetrative sex
- Use of fingers and sex toys
- Shedding from cervical secretions
The report also shows that the participants of the study are twice as highly likely to contract the HPV virus high-risk strains, which is associated with cervical and other cancers, compared to the virus’ low-risk variation.
In general, the possibility of anal cancer resulting from regular anal sex is highly possible. This is said to be one of the reasons why the gay community is suffering from this disease. And since people seem to be ashamed of the considered cause of anal cancer, only a few gay people are open enough to talk about it because they want to be cured.
This makes it incredibly hard for people with this disease to actually get treatment for anal cancer and to also handle the emotional aspect of having the sickness. Trying to keep it bottled up and ignoring the possible signs and symptoms of anal cancer may be one of the reasons why diagnosing the cancer is usually accomplished at the late stages of the disease.
This is even worse when the person with anal cancer has depression on top of the disease. The usual treatment for depression usually involves talking about what the person is feeling hopeless or helpless about and that is cancer. How can you tell your therapist that you have anal cancer and that it’s the reason why you’re depressed?