January 12, 2022 — A recent headline about Dramatic reduction in cervical cancer in young women as a result of HPV Vaccine did not tell the full story of how vaccination might affect many other types of cancer as well.
even with the good news of cervical cancer With rates dropping dramatically, HPV is still linked to a wide range of other cancers, says Daniel Kelly, RN, PhD, co-chair of the European Cancer Organization’s HPV Action Network.
HPV is also associated with cancers of the anus, penis, vagina, vulva and throat, rates of which have been growing in recent years,
As HPV vaccination in girls has already had such a profound effect on rates of cervical cancer, it is expected that universal HPV vaccination (for boys as well as girls) will be responsible for changes in the relative rates of these other cancers. The reason would be, Kelly says.
,These are difficult cancers to treat,” Kelly says, and they are also difficult cancers in terms of the impact they have on everyday activities.
For someone with head and neck cancer, ,You can take away their ability to speak, swallow,” while penile cancer,Certainly very devastating for the men who have been diagnosed.”
To highlight the impact of these cancers, and to raise awareness of universal HPV vaccination for boys as well as girls, Kelly’s group began a series of testimonies It explains how doctors may initially miss diagnosing HPV-related head and neck cancer.
For 37-year-old Rachel Parsons, a mother of five, it took half a year to achieve Oral cancer diagnosis, She spent 6 months going back and forth between her family doctor and her dentist with a growing and painful mouth ulcer,
She still considers herself lucky.
After surgery that lasted more than 9 hours, her cancer was removed. However, the next year saw her going in and out of hospitals for surgical complications, and this put pressure on her marriage to her firefighter husband, Tim.
“We split off from the thinking stage: you know what I do,I don’t want to be with you anymore,” Parsons says.
It was only after they negotiated with the minister to be married, and a firefighters’ charity organized babysitting so that they could live a few days away from their children, that the couple began to find a way to communicate.
“It was my way of getting us back together after the cancer was almost destroyed,” Parsons says. “I know a lot of people where cancer literally ruined their relationship, so we were very lucky that we didn’t let cancer beat us.”
Now she campaigns tirelessly with Mouth Cancer Foundation To raise awareness about HPV and HPV oral cancer, “This,It’s very important that people become more aware of HPV and I am very proactive in trying to listen to people,” Parsons says.
Another proof comes from Joseph Mombers, who was diagnosed with HPV-related cancer of the penis 3 years ago at the age of 57.
He says the worst thing he was telling his kids was realizing that “my grandson, who was 5 months old at the time, probably won’t have any memory of me.”
he says he’s gone through a sort of Sadness The procedure, and the illness and its treatment, had medical, emotional, social, professional and sexual implications, especially when she had to undergo a penectomy.
“While sex should, ideally, be a mixture of physical and intimacy, there is a clear shift intimacy After such an operation … and both partners will have to learn from scratch to deal with the new situation,” he says.
And yet he remains positive.
“I would say to other patients, no matter how bad your prognosis, you still have a chance,” he says. “A 5-year forecast of 10% means that: 1 in 10 will still be alive after a year.”
“Only one, but this one, so why can,this is you?”
The third testimony comes from Jill Bourdais, an American based in Paris and a former reporter-turned-psychologist. She describes How 25 Sessions of Radiotherapy “Really Turned Me Into Me” After Suffering from Anal Cancer in the ’80s
“It was really debilitating, and I ended up in the hospital for a week at the end of it,” she says.
Although her husband was very cooperative, she found that there was little information available in France and so she turned to Anal Cancer Foundation for support.
The foundation was started by Tristan Almada along with her sisters Justin and Camille after their mother Paulette was diagnosed with Stage IV anal cancer in March 2008 at the age of just 51.
Despite initially good results, her illness recurred and, within 6 months, “she was gone.”
The devastation of her loss soon gave rise to “anger and anger” that treatment options were so limited, which forced the siblings to start the foundation.
Soon after he learned that there was “an easy way to prevent what happened to our family from happening again to anyone in the world”, which was through “universal HPV vaccination”.
This took him on a journey to understand why an organization like his “needs to exist in the first place, because in theory, you have this nasty thing, HPV, which causes cancer in both men and women.” … but also thanks to human ingenuity, you have a vaccine.”
As a result, since 2010, the Foundation has focused on highlighting universal HPV vaccination, “and we have a very clear ambition, which is to rid the world of HPV and prevent all cancers caused by HPV.”
Universal immunization: Boys as well as girls
Universal immunization means ensuring that boys are vaccinated as much as girls.
“There is no doubt that the effectiveness of HPV vaccination has improved significantly,” says Leslie R. Boyd, MD, director of the department of gynecological oncology at NYU Langone Health.
“What happens without vaccination is that you have this pool of carriers … and so to get the full protection of the population, it’s important to vaccinate boys,” she says.
Obviously, boys are not at risk of cervical cancer, but they do face a “higher risk” of developing head and neck cancer from exposure to HPV, and so they “definitely would benefit,” she says. Huh.
“It is clear from an epidemiological standpoint,” Boyd says, that cervical cancer “will overtake head and neck cancer in terms of HPV cancer burden sometime in the next decade.”
This, she explains, is because HPV vaccination is “far more prevalent” in women than head and neck cancer as a disease. more common in men,
“So there’s a mismatch, and there’s no routine screening for head and neck cancer, so for both of those reasons, we can expect to see an increase,” she says.