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does the ACS really get the HPV threat?

blackswampboy's picture
Posts: 341
Joined: Jul 2012

I wonder.

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.
That's terrific, as far as it goes.

Creating 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 supports accelerated adoption of the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls, but doesn't even mention the importance of immunizing boys against the virus. Yes, by immunizing boys...we reduce the spread of HPV to girls too.

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.
It would be comforting to think that for victims of anal, vaginal, vulvar, penile, and oropharyngeal cancers--the ACS has our backs too.

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!"

Why the Focus on Cervical Cancer Must End

Billie67's picture
Posts: 843
Joined: Jul 2012

I was just saying the same thing to a perfect stranger who was inquiring why I had such a raspy voice. Even tho my SCC doesn't appear to be caused by HPV or at least my pathology came back negative for HPV and P16. So whether it is or isn't caused by that, the fact that they even tested me for it because it is so commonplace these days makes me want to scream from the rooftops for more awareness and prevention. We need to do something.

Posts: 1914
Joined: May 2012

I totally agree with the HPV epidemic. I have been very vocal on this issue for over 10 yrs in our little part of the world. ACS is a good site, but cannot handle every single issue thrown at them. I admire your stance on this topic and think through you and others a difference can be made my friend ! Continue to inspire others and tell others this is no longer a taboo topic. It will save lives and hopefully lead to a cure or at least slow this damn thing down ! Best sent to you ! Katie

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