As if being a woman who has to deal with monthly periods wasn’t enough, we also need to worry about the Big C and not just breast cancer but cervical cancer as well. Thankfully, great strides have already been accomplished in terms of disease awareness and the human papilloma virus or HPV as it is more popularly known is no longer as daunting as it used to be.
Studies have already been made and published about cervical cancer. Whereas before no one knew what the main cause of it was, now it has been easily identified to be HPV which is present in the human body in many strains. HPV is not just responsible for cervical cancer, it is also the main host for other diseases such as vaginal, anal, and even penile cancer.
This year’s commemoration of Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, the focus of MSD is to spearhead a groundbreaking discussion dubbed “An HPV-Free Future.” Dr. Beaver Tamesis, managing director of MSD in the Philippines says, “We are expanding the dialogue from cervical cancer alone to the wider scope of HPV-related infections and diseases.”
With a dialogue between medical professionals, patient groups, as well as media, the aim is to generate more awareness and discussion on HPV, something that most people are still not comfortable discussing. MSD also hopes to change the perspective on such kinds of diseases so that we may overcome them more effectively and efficiently.
There are 3 important messages that MSD hopes to put out to the public with this discussion:
- The good news that continuous advancements in vaccine technology has led to wider coverage on HPV strains which leads to protection against a wider range of HPV infections and cancers.
- HPV is not just a concern that females should exclusively be worried about. Penile and anal cancer are also strongly associated with HPV infection and this can be easily prevented with vaccination.
- HPV vaccines are currently indicated for administration to adolescents 9 years and older, way before they even become sexually active and become potentially exposed to HPV.
With all these and more, we hope to jumpstart and take the lead on an honest discussion about the threat of HPV to hopefully eradicate more and more diseases and increase the quality of life for all. People deserve to live a good life, worry free from HPV and everything that comes with it.