“Married at First Sight” star Jamie Otis has received some scary news about her health, and is using her extensive platform — she has nearly 500,000 Instagram followers — to help spread cancer awareness.
The “Bachelor” alum has revealed to her supporters that she has a high-risk strain of a common virus called human papillomavirus (HPV). It showed cervical dysplasia, which can be a sign of cancer.
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I have a rainbow baby in my arms & a rainbow baby in my belly.????????????????I’ve never felt more *BLESSED*!????????????…and the way Gracie girl is hugging her baby brother in the last two pics.???? #meltmyheart ???? • In other news, I went to the doc and heard my pap was bad & I have HPV. Although it sounds like an STD and I should freak the F out, I know this is somewhat common and not to be overly worried about. I was scheduled to have a colposcopy just to take a better look at the skin cells in my vagina.????Also, not really a big deal as long as the doc doesn’t see dysplasia…if she does then it could be a sign of early cancer.???? I took a video while I was at the doctors getting the colposcopy-I put the link to our @hotmarriagecoolparents YouTube page in my bio if you wanna watch. At that point I didn’t know whether to worry or not. It could be absolutely nothing. • Buuut, I got the call today saying that my doc did see dysplasia & since I’m pregnant we will have to wait to biopsy my cervix until after I have the baby. • My head’s been all over the place. Thoughts go from “I’m sure I’m fine. I had this with Gracie too.” But then I can’t help but wonder, “What if?!”???? • I’ve had two friends reach out to me. One was like, “oh you’ll be fine. So many friends had this.”???????? Another said, “I may have to have a hysterectomy after they found that in me bc I have actual cancer now.”???? • So I just have to wait until after I have the baby to really know what’s going on inside me, but I’m just putting the positive vibes out there & praying & being so THANKFUL for my health.???????? • I couldn’t help but think about all the women who are pregnant and find out super scary news like they actually do have cancer or a fatal disease and they’re left with the tough decision: treat yourself while pregnant to save your life but risk losing the baby OR take your chances and postpone treatment to save your baby.???? I cannot even imagine having to make that decision.???? My heart goes out to those mamas. If you’re one of them, I’m sending you SO MUCH LOVE.???? • • • #rainbowbaby #pregnancyupdate #secondtrimester #pregnancystyle #bump #pregnancy #pregnantbelly #pregnancyafterloss #preggo
She explained that after a routine pregnancy check-up — she and husband Doug Hehner are expecting their second child — her doctor gave her the news.
“I got the call today saying that my doc did see dysplasia & since I’m pregnant, we will have to wait to biopsy my cervix until after I have the baby,” she wrote.
Cervical dysplasia does not necessary indicate cancer, according to the Mayo Clinic, but simply means that abnormal cells were spotted on the cervix. However, HPV can lead to cervical cancer as well as several other cancers, and is an incredibly common sexually transmitted disease.
Otis and Hehner met on the set of “Married at First Sight” in 2014, and have been together ever since. They had their first child in 2017, and are expecting their second in May 2020.
Celebrities Advocating for HPV Awareness
“Desperate Housewives” actor Marcia Cross, an anal cancer survivor, has also been speaking up about the importance of HPV awareness. Cross said that her cancer, as well as her husband’s throat cancer, were both caused by HPV and, in the past year, she’s been vocal about spreading awareness that HPV can cause multiple cancers, and that there is a vaccine that can prevent this.
During an interview at last month’s People v. Cancer conference from the Atlantic Live in association with SurvivorNet, Cross said that people in her generation (the actress is 57) may not be aware of the risks of HPV, especially since the vaccine was not introduced until 2006.
“There are generations — my generation, the generation before me, maybe — that don’t know about HPV,” Cross said. “And the reasons that’s a problem in my eyes is that HPV is on the rise in post-menopausal women, and that’s precisely when they’re backing off from pap smears. So I think we need to educate that population that they need to get digital rectal exams, and they need to take their symptoms very seriously if they think they have a hemorrhoid.”
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the country. Roughly 80 million Americans have it right now.
Most of the time, the infection goes away on its own and doesn’t cause any symptoms. But other times, when a person contracts a specific “high-risk” strain of HPV, their body may have more difficulty shaking the virus, which can linger and eventually lead to cancer. The vaccine protects against the types of HPV that are most likely to cause cervical cancers, as well as cancers of the vulva, vagina, anus and orophaynx.
The CDC recommends children be given the vaccine around age 11 or 12.
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