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Michael Douglas Addresses Cancer and Oral Sex Headlines

Michael Douglas went viral earlier this week when he brought up a sexually transmitted disease in connection with his 2010 battle with cancer.

Michael Douglas

Image from NYT

His representatives quickly addressed the statements that were made during an interview with The Guardian. The representatives told USA Today that Douglas was not talking specifically about his battle with cancer. Instead, he was simply making the connection between oral HPV and certain cancers.

We can speculate as much as we want, but we can’t know if oral HPV was the cause of Douglas’ cancer. However, we can thank him. We can thank him for bringing this issue to our attention. His comments draw attention to the little talked about fact that oral sex can cause oral cancers.

The link between oral sex and cancer isn’t new, but it still may catch some by surprise. It makes sense that drinking and smoking are risk factors associated with throat and oral cancers. But now, we see that throat cancers related to the sexually transmitted virus human papillomavirus (HPV) are becoming more common.

On the rise

The stats show that this connection is becoming an increasingly important issue.  Reports show that the connection between oral HPV and throat cancer is on the rise. According to the CDC, the incidence rates for HPV-associated throat cancer among white men and women increased between 2000 and 2009. HPV-related throat cancers are more common in men than cervical cancer in women.

Who is at risk?

Throat cancers in the elderly are usually associated with smoking. The demographic that is being diagnosed with HPV-related cancers are younger. Adults ages 40 to 65 are the primary group developing cancer related to oral HPV.

Protect yourself: be aware

Since there is currently no test for oral HPV, how will you protect yourself? The HPV vaccine given to young men and women is a good step to reduce risk. For those not protected by the vaccine, the best way to reduce risk is to know the symptoms. Since this STD can be treated if detected early, its so important to pay attention to any potential symptoms. To reduce risk, remember to follow safe sex practices.

 Learn more about HPV and how to prevent it.

Be aware of your cancer risk factors and test yourself for STDs.

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Watch out Pepto! … A STD Symptom Jingle

Okay, so many of us know the little jingle that comes with Pepto Bismol, right?

Heartburn, Nausea, Indigestion, Upset Stomach, Diarrhea!

So – the thought is that when you experience one of these uncomfortable GI distresses, you head for the bathroom and pop the pink bottle of Pepto.

But what if you’re symptoms aren’t exactly GI-related? What is they’re a little bit more …. uncomfortable.

std-symptoms-jingle.stdtesting

Here's a jingle that's just as memorable as Pepto - except for STDs!

Symptoms of STDs

We thought we’d put together a similar jingle of some of the most common STD symptoms. Now don’t be mistaken, these are only a FEW of the MANY symptoms that can come from an STD. Also, many STDs show NO SIGNS at all. So, be on guard for that. However, if you’re having some discomfort and worried that you could have an STD, here’s a start on the common symptoms a sexually transmitted disease brings about. If you have any of these, make sure to find a lab and get tested for an STD right away.

Itching, Burning, Funny Discharge, It Hurts when I go Pee

Spotting, Sores, Rashes, Odor, Sex hurts my Wee Wee

Let us explain…

Itching:  Well you probably get that one. But, itching could be a sign of Chlamydia, Scabies, Herpes, Pubic Lice, among others.

Burning:  Burning when you go pee, have intercourse, or for some gals – even just sitting in a chair. Sometimes burning indicates yeast infection. But not always. Some common STDs that bring burning include Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Trichomoniasis, Chancroid and more.

Funny Discharge:  This can occur for both guys and gals. Some STDs bring about different colors. If you experience this be on the lookout for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Bacterial Vaginosis, among others.

Hurts when I Go Pee: Painful urination can also occur in both buys and gals. Could indicate Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Herpes and more.

Now on to Round Two…

Spotting:  It’s common for women to see spotting in between periods or have menstrual pain if they have an STD. These symptoms certainly don’t mean that an STD is present, but if no other explanation allows, consider being tested for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea for starters.

Sores:  Sores in the “private parts” can indicate Syphilis, Chancroid, Herpes, among others.

Rashes:  Rashes often accompany the itching or burning you may feel. These can sprout up as a result of Syphilis, HIV and Scabies.

Odor:  Shower and it’s still smelly? Make sure you’re tested for these:  Trichomoniasis and Bacterial Vaginosis.

Sex Hurts My Wee Wee:  Chlamydia, Trichomoniasis, Chancroid, Herpes, and others.

Check out this article that lists all of the STDS associated with common symptoms.

Concerned you might have one of these STD symptoms or STD? Get tested for an STD today.

posted in chlamydia,gonorrhea,Herpes,HIV,Scabies,STDs,Syphilis,Trichomoniasis and have No Comments

Know Your STDs and How to Prevent Them: Pubic Lice

Pubic lice, commonly called “crabs,” are one of the most easily spread sexually transmitted diseases out there. And because of the strong correlation between an infestation of pubic lice and infection with other sexually transmitted diseases, it’s important to know what pubic lice are and what to do about them — and how ARCpoint Labs can help you take control of your sexual health.

What are pubic lice?

Pubic lice are small, tick-like parasites that feed on blood by burrowing into a person’s skin.

How can I get it?

Pubic lice are passed through contact with any person or material who has them, whether via sex or sharing of clothes, towels or bedding.  Pubic lice are not spread by toilet seats or swimming pools because they cannot survive for long periods of time away from the warmth and humidity of a human host.

How will I know if I have them?

Symptoms of pubic lice infestation usually appear after approximately five days, though some people never get symptoms.  They include itchy and/or inflamed skin, visible lice (pale gray at first, but darker as they fill with blood) and eggs (white and usually found in small clumps near hair follicles), and spots of blood (caused by lice feeding in the skin).

What are the complications?

There are few complications, but some people develop discolored skin in spots where pubic lice have been feeding continually.  Additionally, people can develop secondary infections from scratching lice bites.

Is it treatable?

A pubic lice infestation is easily treated using over-the-counter cream rinses.  Stronger prescription medicines are available for particularly stubborn infestations.

How can I prevent it?

There is no fail-proof protection against pubic lice.  You can lessen your chances by limiting the number of people with whom you come into sexual contact, as well as not sharing clothes, towels or bedding.

How can I get tested?

A person can usually self-diagnose pubic lice, or a medical health professional can confirm.  However, there is a high association between the presence of pubic lice and contraction of other sexually transmitted diseases.  So, if you have or have had a pubic lice infestation, it is highly recommended that you be tested for other sexually transmitted diseases.  ARCpoint Labs offers twenty testing locations across the United States, and we offer secure specimen control, accurate and reliable results, and complete confidentiality at low prices without the hassle or cost of a doctor’s visit.  Use the drop-down menu at the top of this page under Prevention Sites or visit our website to find a location near you.

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Know Your STDs and How to Prevent Them: Gonorrhea

It’s not exactly pleasant to think about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), but it’s important to know your facts. Knowledge is power when it comes to prevention and treatment, and that’s why we at ARCpoint Labs are here. Read up, and take control of your sexual health.

One of the most common STDs is gonorrhea.  According to the CDC, more than 700,000 new cases are reported every year, and the highest rate of contraction is among sexually active teenagers and young adults.

What causes gonorrhea?

Gonorrhea, sometimes known as “the clap,” is caused by a type of bacteria called Neisseria gonorrhoeae that grows in warm, moist areas of the body, including the urethra, a woman’s reproductive tract, and even in the eyes.

How can I get it?

Gonorrhea is spread through all types of sex via contact with the mouth, vagina, penis or anus. Gonorrhea can also be passed from mother to infant during childbirth.

How will I know if I have it?

Symptoms usually appear two to five days after infection, but some people don’t have symptoms at all, and it’s not atypical for it to take a month for symptoms to show in men.

Symptoms in women include:

  • Unusual vaginal discharge
  • Burning or pain while urinating
  • Increased urination
  • Sore throat (gonococcal pharyngitis)
  • Pain during sex
  • Severe pain in lower abdomen
  • Fever

 

Symptoms in men include:

  • Burning or pain while urinating
  • Increased urination
  • Discharge from the penis (usually white, yellow or green)
  • Red or swollen opening of the penis
  • Tender or swollen testicles (epididymitis)
  • Sore throat (gonococcal pharyngitis)

What are the complications?

Because some people do not present symptoms, they may be completely unaware they’ve contracted gonorrhea and pass it to others without knowing.  Additionally, symptoms in women can be very mild and easily mistaken for another type of infection.  If the infection spreads to the bloodstream, a person can develop fever, rash and arthritis-like symptoms.

In women, untreated infections can lead to scarring of the fallopian tubes, fertility problems, and ectopic pregnancy.

In men, untreated infections can lead to scarring and abscess of the urethra as well as fertility issues.

Both sexes can suffer infections of heart valves and joints, as well as meningitis.

Is it treatable?

Gonorrhea is easily treated by antibiotics if it has not spread to the blood stream or other areas.  Gonorrhea that has spread is more difficult to treat, but the success rate is still very high.

It’s also important to note that health care professionals are required to notify their State Board of Health about anyone diagnosed with gonorrhea to ensure the patient is treated and cured, and that any past sexual partners are found and notified.  The reason for this is that some strains of gonorrhea have developed antibiotic resistance to many previously used medications.

If you have contracted gonorrhea, you should also receive the hepatitis B vaccine, as well as the HPV vaccine if you are under the age of 26.

How can I prevent it?

The only way to absolutely prevent contracting gonorrhea is total abstinence from all kinds of sex. Limiting sexual relations to a monogamous relationship in which both partners have been tested and are free of STDs greatly reduces the risk of contracting gonorrhea.  Using latex condoms during intercourse and latex condoms or dental dams during oral sex also reduces the risk of transmission.

How can I get tested?

ARCpoint Labs offers twenty testing locations across the United States. We offer secure specimen control, accurate and reliable results, and complete confidentiality at low prices without the hassle or cost of a doctor’s visit.  Use the drop-down menu at the top of this page under Prevention Sites or visit our website to find a location near you.

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Know Your STDs and How to Prevent Them: Chlamydia

It’s not exactly pleasant to think about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), but it’s important to know your facts. Knowledge is power when it comes to prevention and treatment, and that’s why we at ARCpoint Labs are here. Read up, and take control of your sexual health.

One of the most common STDs is chlamydia.  According to the CDC, there are as many as 2.8 million new cases in the United States every year.

What causes chlamydia?

Chlamydia is caused by a type of bacteria called Chlamydia trachomatis. It can infect the urethra, rectum and eyes in men and women, as well as the cervix in women.

How can I get it?

Chlamydia is spread via vaginal, anal or oral sex. It can also be spread from eye to eye simply by touch, sharing towels or makeup, and by coughing or sneezing.  Chlamydia can also be passed to an infant during childbirth.

How will I know if I have it?

Symptoms of chlamydia typically emerge one to three weeks after infection, but in some cases they don’t show up until later.

Many women don’t show any symptoms at all, which is why the disease is known as the “Silent Epidemic.”  Possible symptoms include abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge, abdominal pain, pain during sex, fever, pain during urination, or the urge to urinate more frequently.

Symptoms in men include pain or burning during urination, abnormal discharge from the penis, swollen or tender testicles and fever.

What are the complications?

In women, untreated chlamydia can lead to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, which can cause scarring of the reproductive organs, chronic pelvic pain, fertility issues, and complications in pregnancy.

In men, the infection can spread to the testicles, causing a condition called epididymitis, which can in rare cases cause sterility if not treated within six to eight weeks.  Chlamydia is also related to inflammation of the prostate.

Is it treatable?

Yes, chlamydia can be treated and cured with antibiotics.

How can I prevent it?

Use a condom every time you have sex.

How can I get tested?

ARCpoint Labs offers twenty testing locations across the United States. We offer secure specimen control, accurate and reliable results, and complete confidentiality at low prices without the hassle or cost of a doctor’s visit.  Use the drop-down menu at the top of this page under Prevention Sites or visit our website to find a location near you.

 

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