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Is my rectal tumor from my spouses extramarital affair?
Apr 5, 2003

I am a woman who had a stage 3 rectal tumor which was diagnosed as squamous cell CA. The surgeon thought this tumor had begun growing about 15 months prior to the surgery, just a few months after I learned my spouse had had a recent extramarital affair with a female, and possibly with an HIV infected male. I asked the oncologist if this tumor could be due to HPV and was told "no". I have had radiation therapy, and will be receiving chemotherapy used for colorectal adenocarcinoma. I wanted my spouse checked for HPV, but his physician told him there is no test for HPV for men. He has had a myriad of other tests, including HIV and these were negative. Ideas? Is my treatment the correct one? Should I be being treated with the chemo for anal CA?

Response from Dr. Dezube

That's a very difficult question you are asking-- is your tumor related to HPV picked up from your husband's affair? The first thing I need to know if do you have rectal cancer, which is almost always adenocarcinoma; or anal cancer, which is always squamous cell carcinoma. They are treated so very differently that it is heard for me to advise you. You mention rectal squamous, which is quite unusual. Are you sure it's not rectal adenocarcinoma or anal squamous cell carcinoma. If it were to be anal squamous cell carcinoma, then that tumor may indeed be related to the human papillomavirus (HPV). (Rectal cancers, on the other hand, are usually not related to HPV). There is NO way for me to tell if your husband's behavior contributed to your condition. If you could get a copy of your pathology report, I could possibly advise you more if you tell me exactly what it says. Also you would need to tell me what chemotherapy is planned.

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