Wednesday, February 8, 2017

HPV and Cervical Cancer Chat - 2/8/17

During this month's chat discussion on HPV and Cervical Cancer the community learned vital information about screening, vaccination, fertility and how to better educate women on the risks and treatment of cervical cancer. We were joined by forty-nine participants and had over 2.4 million impressions.

Here is a sample of the responses to our topic questions.
T1: Which HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) types cause cervical cancer? How does the HPV vaccination prevent cancer? 
  • HPV causes nearly all cases of cervical cancer. While there are over 150 HPV types, ~14 are known to cause cervical cancer.
  • Usually HPV 16 and 18. But several others. Vaccine prevent against many cancer and wart causing types of HPV
  • Just because you are infected with #HPV - doesn't mean that you will DEFINITELY develop #cervicalcancer
  • Because we can't be sure who will develop cancer - best to PREVENT with #HPVaccine
  • It is also important to note that the HPV infection can develop years after exposure
  • @theNCI comprehensive cancer ctrs statement on HPV vaccination

T2: What other health issues and cancers are associated with HPV? Why is the vaccine recommended for both boys and girls?
  • @GYNcancer :vaccinate both girls & boys between 11- 13 years. 2 doses . Vacc + screening prevent virtually all CervCa
  • Other HPV-related cancers include: vagina, vulva, penis, anus, rectum, and oropharynx (cancers of the back of the throat) 
  • As of 10/2016, CDC recommends that 11-12 year-olds receive 2 doses of HPV vaccine at least 6 months apart instead of 3
  • Cigarette smoking and conditions that lower the immune system like steroids [increase risk]
  • Cervical dysplasia (not yet cancer) can be as emotionally and mentally taxing for young women
  • The best time to vaccinate is well before any sexual skin to skin contact. 

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? 
  •  If there is concern based on pap and/or HPV test, then colposcopy (a closer look) is done in office.
  •  HPV test should be first test for cervical cancer screening. Detects 14 high-risk HPV types. via @US_FDA
  • Continued importance of pap/HPV screening based on ASCCP guidelines--this and vaccination best way to protect 
  • ACOG infographic on screening…
  •  Imp- Guidelines are based on average risk and should be starting point of discussion with your doctor about your personal risk!
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.

  • Take stigma off of HPV as a "sexually transmitted" disease and change to "human contact" 
  • Keep talking about it until it's not a stigma - it's just a health condition to treat!
  • Recent news @NewsHour @DrJenCaudle #cervical cancer kills more african american women 
  • Australia has implemented school-based vaccination w/ success in vaccine rates and decreased disease
  • It would help if our education about bodies included penis, vagina, ovaries, testes, etc as consistently as we say "elbow."
  • More education programs in junior high and high schools. School vaccination programs 
  • Celebrities with cervical cancer diagnosis speaking out 
  • Organizations like American Indian Cancer Foundation help educate and raise awareness
  • Organizations like @iamcervivor work to share stories - stories touch emotions and emotion leads to actions
  • Cancer treatment is far worse than the "stigma" of people knowing you're sexually active

Please scroll down for additional resources. To read the entire transcript please click here.

Remember that patients and caregivers are invited to continue our #gyncsm discussions on the Smart Patients platform at  .

We invite you to join us next month, Wednesday, March 8, 2017 at 9pm ET for our chat on Gyn Cancer Disparities. 

See you next month! And please use the #gyncsm hashtag to share important information with our community.

Co-Founder #gyncsm


@GYNCancer HPV Facts and testing

@CDCgov has info and resources about #HPV available at

ASCCP guidelines available for public

SGO webpage about HPV with good resources

FDA Resource - Improving odds of cervical health…

Fertility Preservation in Patients With Cervical Cancer | Cancer Network

#cervicalcancer rates and disparities…

Time Magazine : Cervical Cancer Rates

HPV vaccine: A smart way to protect kids from cancer

How to Talk to Your Kids about HPV

Treatments for cervical cell changes:…

Who should be vaccinated against #HPV, and when? Tips from our Dr. Haddad:  

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