A patient's journey and perspective on HPV-related cervical cancer
"My advice for parents considering the HPV vaccine - Do it. Why would you not? If you can save your child from having to go through all the cancer treatments - Do it.
MOON SHOTS PROGRAM
The human papillomavirus, or HPV, is responsible for more than 90% of
anal and cervical cancers; about 70% of vaginal, vulvar and
oropharyngeal cancers (cancers of the middle throat); and more than
60% of penile cancers. HPV demands our attention, and no institution
is better suited to this task than MD Anderson.
HPV is a group of more than 150 related viruses. The lifetime risk of acquiring an HPV infection is 75–80%. While certain forms of the virus cause common skin warts (papillomas), others can lead to cancer. Each year hundreds of thousands of men and women around the globe are diagnosed with HPV-related cancers, and in many areas more than half of those patients will die.
Maura Gillison, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor, Thoracic/Head & Neck Medical Oncology
Ann Klopp, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Radiation Oncology
Jeffrey Myers, M.D., Ph.D.
Chair, Head and Neck Surgery
Despite the availability of safe, effective vaccines that could prevent the majority of cancers caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), the incidence of HPV-related cancers is increasing.
Imagine a world where cancer could be easily prevented with a simple vaccination; where the earliest stages of cancer could be detected, treated and cured before they had a chance to spread; and where more advanced cancers had a reliably tested, genetically targeted treatment customized to each patient. This world may not be attainable for all forms of cancer, but for cancers caused by the human papillomavirus, or HPV, the power to prevail is within our reach. Unfortunately, due to a lack of awareness, education, resources and funding, making that dream a reality remains frustratingly just beyond our grasp.
MD Anderson’s HPV-Related Cancers Moon Shot® is working to identify practical solutions and strategies to enhance awareness, improve vaccination rates and ultimately impact incidence and mortality of HPV-related malignancies.
National leaders and cancer center representatives recently met in Houston to review strategies for improving HPV vaccination rates. The event was aptly named to represent its goals: Increasing HPV Vaccination in the U.S.: a Collaboration of NCI-designated Cancer Centers Summit. Experts from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the American Cancer Society (ACS), the CDC and more than 35 of the nation’s NCI-designated cancer centers met at MD Anderson over two days in November 2015 as they evaluated the current state of HPV vaccinations, identified barriers to prevention-based approaches, and located opportunities for cancer centers to collectively engage in cancer control activities related to HPV vaccination.
Survivor and Advocate
HPV-related tonsil cancer
If you could prevent your child from getting cancer with just a couple of vaccination shots, why wouldn’t you?Learn more
While HPV affects up to 80% of the population, it is also highly misunderstood. MD Anderson’s Moon Shot® team puts a great deal of effort into public education and addressing this knowledge gap. Learn more about the myths and the reality of HPV here, and share your knowledge with this fact sheet.
Our HPV-Related Cancers Moon Shot is taking three approaches to defeat cancers related to this virus: