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Public awareness

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

I am just wondering why there has been no public awareness campaign about anal cancer and hpv. Is there any organization which focuses attention and funding to this cancer? Some cancers get so much attention and funding. Has there ever been a public awareness campaign? I wonder whether Farah fawcett started a foundation? Does anyone know anything about this?

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2849
Joined: Jan 2010

I would urge you to check out the website for the HPV and Anal Cancer Foundation at www.analcancerfoundation.org. This foundation was started by three siblings, the Almadas (Tristan, Justine and Camille), who lost their mother to anal cancer in April 2010. This is a legitimate organization, devoted to bringing awareness to this disease through campaigns and events, and sponsoring others in races, etc. to bring anal cancer out of the darkness. I have spoken with Tristan Almada and know that he and his sisters are dedicated to the cause. Through their website, you can learn a lot about anal cancer, find links to other websites for information regarding treatment, etc. If you visit the website, you'll note the pics across the homepage of anal cancer survivors. The one farthest to the left is none other than me. I have pasted in an address that will link you to an article that appeared in the NY Times about the Almada family and their mission.

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/09/saving-lives-from-anal-cancer/

As for Farrah Fawcett starting a foundation, she did not. However, after her passing, one was started in her name by her friend, Alana Stewart, I believe. While it may be a worthy organization, I do not think it is dedicated solely to anal cancer. I prefer to support the HPV and Anal Cancer Foundation.

As for reasons why anal cancer has gotten so little attention, these are my opinions. 1) It is a cancer that affects a body part that most people are uncomfortable discussing. 2) There are less than 6000 cases a year diagnosed in the U.S., which makes it a rare cancer and not likely to affect most people, either personally or through a loved one or friend. 3) There is a stigma attached to it (HPV) and misinformation about risk factors, leading people to believe that it is solely the result of having had anal sex (which is never practiced by the majority of people who are diagnosed with the disease).

Sadly, the incidence of HPV-related diseases is on the rise. I truly believe that there will be an increase in the number of anal cancer cases diagnosed in the future, along with head and neck cancers, and others involving the genitalia. This is what will eventually get peoples' attention, but how many cases will it take? Who knows. Young people these days are putting themselves at high risk unknowingly, believing that they are practicing safe sex. So little is understood about HPV in the general population.

I hope you'll visit the above website and contact the Almadas if you have any ideas on how to raise awareness.

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

Thank you for that information. It is unfortunate that there is so much misinformation out there and that so many of us are too ashamed to come out in public about having this disease. I will look into the website.

eihtak
Posts: 818
Joined: Oct 2011

Soooo much Martha, I do a lot of reading and myself was not aware of this foundation. I will contact them, as it sounds like exactly what I am looking for also. Once again, you never cease to amaze me with your knowledge and help!

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