Breaking News: Chlamydia Could Double The Risk Of Ovarian Cancer
Dr. Bobby Lazzara, Medical News Minute
The National Cancer Institute released a statement on March 18, 2018, that Chlamydia, one of the most common STDs in the world, could double the risk of ovarian cancer. This statement was released before the expected release of the report in a meeting with American Association of Cancer Research in April.
While previous studies have shown the link between ovarian cancer and PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease), no direct correlation had been made linking STDs with ovarian cancer. PID is most commonly caused by an unidentified or untreated STD and, in rare cases, can be life-threatening. One of the most common STD infections that is known to lead to PID is Chlamydia.
Data was collected from two different studies, which showed that women who had an antibody specific to a previous chlamydia infection were twice as likely to have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, whereas antibodies associated with other STDs within those test populations showed no association with the risk of an ovarian cancer diagnosis.
Chlamydia is considered a “silent” infection, meaning that it commonly infects and persists in the body without any symptoms. This fact contributes to its widespread nature, as it is easily passed, sexually, from person to person without anyone knowing.
Additionally, failure to identify and treat chlamydia early can spread the infection to the urinary tract, cervix, uterus, and the fallopian tubes causing a condition called Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), which can scar or block the fallopian tubes and increases the risk of ectopic pregnancy and long-term pelvic pain. In pregnant women, chlamydia can cause complications and in severe cases, the death of the infant.
According to the CDC, women under the age of 25 are the most at risk for Chlamydia infections. But any sexually active adult is at risk for contracting and transmitting Chlamydia if they are not being routinely tested for STDs.
The good news is that Chlamydia is very easy to treat. Antibiotics will be prescribed in a one or seven-day treatment plan. All sexual partners should be tested and treated for Chlamydia and abstain from sexual activity for a full seven days after treatment is completed to avoid re-infection.
In short, a Chlamydia infection is often present without any signs or symptoms and can easily be transmitted without knowledge. Chlamydia is easy to treat but also has a high rate of recurrence (coming back again). Therefore it is recommended that any sexually active adult be routinely screened and tested for Chlamydia as well as other STDs. Take charge of your sexual health.