Cervical cancer forms in the cells lining the cervix. It generally takes several years for normal cells to develop into cervical cancer. The Pap test detects those precancerous cells and the HPV test detects the presence of high-risk HPV types known to lead to cervical cancer.
The most recent numbers available on the incidence of cervical cancer in the U.S. is from 2013. In that year, 11,955 women were diagnosed with cervical cancer (CDC ). The five-year survival rate is 68%. Over the past forty years, death due to cervical cancer has dropped by more than 50% due to the use of the Pap test (http://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/cervical-cancer/statistics).
HPV is responsible for nearly all cases of cervical cancer, with HPV 16 and 18 accounting for more than seventy percent of all cervical cancers. HPV is a very common virus that is transmitted by skin-to-skin contact. Many HPV infections go away by themselves but when they persist they can lead to cervical cancer. Other cancers also associated with HPV include cancer of the vagina, vulva, penis, anus, rectum, and oropharynx (cancers of the back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils). The goal of vaccination is to prevent a lasting HPV infection after a person is exposed to the virus. (http://www.cancer.net/navigating-cancer-care/prevention-and-healthy-living/hpv-and-cancer)
We hope you will join us and learn more about cervical cancer.
We will use these questions to guide our chat:
T1: Which HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) types cause cervical cancer? How does the HPV vaccination prevent cancer?
T2: What other health issues and cancers are associated with HPV? Why is the vaccine recommended for both boys and girls?
T3: What are the tools we have to catch cervical cancer in the pre-cancer and early stages? What do we need to know re: guidelines?
T4: What are options for fertility preservation? What fertility and general resources can help women diagnosed with cervical disease?
T5: There is still a lot of stigma surrounding women's cancers. How can we ensure ALL women receive the necessary education.
Feel free to read the Cancer.Net website (http://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/cervical-cancer/introduction) and the CDC website (https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/hpv/statistics/cases.htm) for more information on cervical cancer and HPV.
See you on Wed the 8th!