Dec 15, 2012 - 12:45 pm
Recently, Maria Blair (National Vice President of the American Cancer Society) wrote a passionate, well-meaning plea to create a cervical cancer-free world for women and girls.
Unfortunately, nowhere in her article does Ms. Blair acknowledge any other types of HPV-associated cancer (anal, vaginal, vulvar, penile, oropharyngeal...). Instead of recognizing the wider threat of HPV, she calls for prioritizing cervical cancer in national development and health programs. This, despite the 2011 study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology that says by 2020, the number of cases of men with HPV throat cancer will surpass women with HPV cervical cancer.
Ms. Blair, how about extending the fight against all types of HPV-associated cancers? When you prioritize cervical cancer, you are necessarily de-prioritizing the fight against other types of cancer.
As the author of the HPV Support Network blog so eloquently says,
"Since 1983, HPV has gone from being responsible for one cancer (cervical), to being responsible for six, and there may be more to come. It is long past time to stop creating divisiveness through a myopic focus and to recognize that what is needed, what is desperately needed, is to unify the voices of every individual who suffers from HPV-related cancer. Our adversary should not be seen as cervical cancer or anal cancer or any of the other cancers for which HPV is responsible, but HPV itself!"