HPV, Cervical Cancer and why you should call your doctor today
I was reading today about the black comedienne Yvette Wilson who died yesterday at 48 of cervical cancer. I have to tell you hearing about deaths like that really upset me. Completely preventable, and an absolute tragedy to dies at age 48. The thing is HPV is now something you can be immunized for like polio and yet most women don’t get inoculated. Everyone in my family (including my husband and son) have had our Gardasil injection that prevents HPV.
This year, thousands of young women will die from cervical cancer (the cancer that HPV triggers). The thing is that HPV can be transmitted by touch- places that the condom doesn’t cover. HPV can also trigger vaginal, vulva and maybe, just maybe breast cancer. At least that is what one oncology gynecologist said at a recent lecture. You can imagine the line ups to get stabbed if that’s true. Either way, YOU CAN PREVENT CANCER WITH A VACCINE! It would have saved Yvette Wilson’s life. Do me a favour, call your doctor and get more information. I’ve posted some stuff for Canadian women below. End rant.
HPV, also called “The Silent Infection”
HPV can be transferred on parts of the body that are not protected by a condom, and its symptoms are often hidden until they are detected by an HPV test or an abnormal Pap smear. In some cases, the development of genital warts (or “papillomas”) will be an indication that HPV is present and requiring treatment.
Health Canada is conducting research into the long-term effectiveness of the vaccine and its success in guarding against the types of HPV that lead to cervical cancer. Women have been well-informed on the importance of receiving regular Pap tests every year once they become sexually active, but up until recently, we have been unable to control the virus that leads to abnormal cells on a Pap smear.
How many shots do you get? How much does the HPV vaccine cost in Canada?
The HPV vaccination is to be administered in three doses over six months. It can be a costly ounce of prevention, at a total price of about $475 for the entire series. The shots are available through a visit to your family doctor. Most health insurance providers do not cover this prescription, but new federal budget allowances for immunizations have some provinces looking to the federal government to foot the bill.