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How Strong Will Your Voice Be?

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Cancer related image Photo: Getty Images

There has been an increased amount of reporting lately across a variety of news media from radio to print articles involving HPV. Women are willing to speak up about the virus, the knowledge of which could potentially save tens of thousands of lives if not millions over the long haul. Their knowledge however is sometimes limited and inaccurate.

Educating women to the existence of HPV, its potential ramifications -- including cancer -- and the existence of a vaccination is crucial if the reduction in the cases of HPV-induced cancers is to be achieved.

Since its discovery as the cause of cervical cancer in 1983 with the discovery of HPV16, research has gone on to show the connection between HPV and five additional cancers, vaginal, vulvar, anal, penile and head/neck. Most recently has been the connection between HPV and cancers of the tonsil and base of tongue, mainly occurring in males.

This is one more reason why the status change by the FDA from approved in males to recommended in males is so important. Testimony before the FDA indicated that at its current rate, head/neck cancers will exceed cervical cancers.

Susan G. Komen died in 1983 from breast cancer at the age of thirty-three. Her sister promised she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. The Susan G. Komen Organization has now become "the largest source of non-profit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world."

This organization and the development of the pink ribbon which has become associated as its symbol took not only years to achieve, but also the dedication and commitment of her sister and thousands of others. Only through this same level of commitment and dedication will the fight against HPV (as a cause, just like breast cancer) hope to be able to achieve such heights.


"Susan G. Komen for the Cure | About Us | About Us." Susan G. Komen for the Cure. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Dec. 2011.

"Alexa Ray Joel Shares That She Caught An STD From Her Ex-Boyfriend - Starpulse.com." Entertainment News | Entertainment Photos | Entertainment Video | Starpulse.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Nov. 2011.

"CDC - HPV-Associated Cancers Statistics." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Nov. 2011. http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/hpv/statistics

Reviewed December 7, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

Add a Comment3 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

HPV awareness is a good thing... It prompts you to get your regular PAP screen, but the idea that HPV (or oral sex for that matter) is anything new is something we want to be careful to avoid. Hippocrates discovered cervical cancer which means that HPV has been around AT LEAST that long. I expect that we've seen a decrease in the number of cervical cancer cases since the PAP test, and the routine check up was invented. So, all the hype for a vaccine is really questionable as the best means of preventing cancers related to HPV.

December 8, 2011 - 7:02am
(reply to Anonymous)

If not the awareness and education for the vaccine which can help prevent so many of the HPV related cancers then just what would your suggestion be? This country is supposed to have been on a "War Against Cancer" declared in 1971. Here we have a vaccine proven to prevent cancer and people are questioning whether or not to take it or have their children get it? They don't question all the shots their infants get yet scream bloody murder about our "young girls" being vaccinated. It makes utterly no sense. Never did I think that if a vaccine became available to help prevent cancer that people wouldn't be lining up in the streets to get it. The excuses these people use to rationalize their behavior only proves their ignorance and lack of facts and shows how easily people can be swayed into believing anything without checking it out for themselves through reputable sources. Anyone can write anything on the Internet - that doesn't make it true. People need to look for certified sites with reputable medical information and not just believe everything they read.

December 12, 2011 - 8:32am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Bonnie Diraimondo RN)

Parents ARE questioning all the shots their infants get. And because of it they are labelled conspiracy theorists or they are bullied by the system so that they feel they cannot excercise their right to refuse. This vaccine is weak on so many levels, that it is easy to tear down. Firstly, it requires 3 boosters. We know from problems with compliance with medications that unless a proper program is in place people will be less likely to come back for the 2nd let alone 3rd boosters. The shots that are given at the grade school level are a better program. Second is the coverage. There are many more cancer causing strains of HPV than are in the vaccine.... Will parents be required to come back for 4 different shots (times 3 boosters???). Third, and most important is safety. The FUTURE trials are flawed in that they use adjuvant as their placebo which is immunogenic by itself, to compare with the vaccine. This means you have no independent variable and therefore your hypothesis cannot be proven. If they had tested against Normal Saline alone, then you would conclude that the adverse reaction rate was perhaps unacceptable. I agree that the internet is a double edged sword, but so long as health professionals and governments continue to NOT listen to the people, we will go it alone...

December 17, 2011 - 5:36am
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