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Missouri cancer survivor urges others to get HPV vaccine

Last summer, 56-year-old Scott Ward discovered a lump on the right side of his neck. His primary care physician told…

Last summer, 56-year-old Scott Ward discovered a lump on the right side of his neck. His primary care physician told him to give it some time. After a month, Ward got a scan. And then a biopsy. It was throat cancer.

Human papillomavirus was determined to be the primary cause.

Cancer of the middle part of the throat, like the one Ward had, is now the most common HPV-related cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By 2015, there were 15,479 cases among men and 3,438 among women in the U.S. The virus is also associated with more than 90 percent of cervical and anal cancers, 70 percent of vaginal and vulgar cancers and more than 60 percent of penile cancers.

To help prevent HPV-related diseases in a broader age range, the Food and Drug Administration expanded its approval for the HPV vaccine for people ages 27 to 45 early last month. De uitbreiding was gebaseerd op studies van vrouwen en men leeft 27 tot 45 dat de oorspronkelijke Gardasil was zeer effectief in preventie van malignancies gerelateerd aan virusstammen bedekt door het vaccin. De recentste versie van het vaccin, Gardasil 9, beschermt mensen tegen negen stammen of het virus dat oorzaken van genitale wratten en het merendeel van HPV-gerelateerde kanker en andere ziekten.

Het vaccin was eerder goedgekeurd voor preteens en jonge volwassenen tussen de eeuwen heen of 9 and 26, and the CDC has recommended vaccination for preteens and young adults since 2007.

By high school, many people have already been exposed to HPV. More than 60 percent of students will have been exposed by the end of their four years of college, said Mark Hunter, a gynecologic oncologist at Ellis Fischel Cancer Center. An estimated one in two American adults is currently infected with HPV.

Missouri’s HPV vaccination rate has been one of the lowest in the country. Healthcare professionals and advocates like Ward are sharing their experiences to combat the misperceptions and misinformation on the internet, including the myth that the vaccine causes serious side effects (it does not).

Ward, who lives in Fulton and worked in Construction, does not know when he was infected with the virus, but he has probably carried it for decades.

A couple of weeks after the diagnosis, he underwent six hours of surgery for the removal of a malignant tonsil. Then, the doctor performed a neck dissection and removed 22 lymph nodes, 1

4 of which were malignant. The operation left a scar from his chin through the right side of his neck, almost to his right ear.

That was not even the hardest part.

“They basically want to get you as close to death as they can kill all your cells,” Ward said.

In the seven weeks after the surgery, he endured 32 rounds of radiation and three rounds of chemotherapy. Fighting cancer became his new occupation. Hver morgen, han klædde sig, blev rengjort og tvunget til å spise gjennom smerten. He got to know all the healthcare technicians who gave him chemo because he saw them every day.

By the end of January, the course of treatments had ended. Ward is now in his ninth month of remission. “I’ve got neuropathy in my fingers and feet,” Ward said. “I’ve got neuropathy in my fingers and my feet,” said Ward. I have only a partial taste. And if you ever lose your taste, it’s no fun and everything tastes terrible. “

If he could, he would get the HPV vaccine.

” My nurse duty there are other strains of the HPV, “he said.” Even if you’ve been through this, you’ve had treatment, then you’re still good with this one. help me if I was under the age of 45. “

Hunter, the gynecologic oncologist, said a lot of patients, nurses and staff are paying out of their own pocket to get the vaccine. He hopes insurance companies will soon cover the costs for people 27 to 45.

“If you are an insurance company, then you have prevented them from all the abnormal pap smears, from the biopsies, from the loop electrosurgical excision procedures that we do after the biopsy … If they can prevent all that, it’s definitely a cost savings, “Hunter said.

Meanwhile, vaccination for adolescents in Missouri, which is covered by most insurance policies, is not happening in large numbers. By 2017, about 57 percent or 13- to 17-year-olds in Missouri had been given the first dose.

HPV causes, said Sharon Humiston, a pediatrician affiliated with Children‘s Mercy, Kansas City. One of the reasons for the low rate of complete vaccinations is the lack of awareness of the cancer. Because the HPV vaccine is not yet required for enrollment in Missouri schools, parents tend to think the vaccine is not important.

“Parents ask:” Is this really necessary? What are my kid’s chances of getting this disease, and if Humiston said.

People tend to undervalue prevention because they do not see the outcome of vaccination, which is no disease, she said.

“For example, , når det ikke er så mange som meslinger som cirkulerer i samfunnet, er det lett å tro at vi ikke trenger den meslinger vaccine lenger, “Humiston sa.” Vi forteller at meslinger ikke gikk ut som en dinosaur; det er bare under kontroll because of vaccination or almost everyone in the community. “

Boys and girls need to be vaccinated before exposure because the vaccine does not clear an HPV infection that is already established, Humiston said.

” My adolescent patient is more likely to have a serious health problem due to HPV than due to alm ost any other virus I’m trying to prevent vaccination, “she said.” I can not present this as an optional vaccine – it’s a necessary vaccine if what I’m concerned about is health. “

Another reason some Patients have not received the vaccine because the pediatrician or family physician does not bring it up, Humiston said.

“There are so many things that need to be covered in an adolescent visit, and the doctor may have figured, ‘Oh, this can wait until the next visit.’ But then there was no ‘next visit,’ “Humiston said.” As adolescents get older, they are less and less likely to be seen in a primary care setting. “

To make matters worse, misinformation on the internet needlessly frightens Parents. Some of the “information” that pops up is anecdotal and emotional, affecting people unconsciously.

“Fear is like purple ink – even a little bit stains everything in the laundry,” she said. “And it’s a lasting stain.”

Pediatrician John Wilson tries to keep up with the misinformation circulating in the anti-vaccine community, so he can deal with patients’ questions and doubts.

“Wilson said,” They convince parents that if you’re doing a lot of money through clickbait, books, movies and speaking tours that stoke fear. ” re-going to vaccinate, then you need to boost children’s immune systems in other ways, and that is through purchasing their supplements. “

Starting from Andrew Wakefield’s fraudulent study linking vaccines and autism in 1998, conspiracy theories about vaccine safety have been produced and rebutted, but they keep coming back, Wilson said. That’s in spite of the voluminous research that shows vaccines are safe and effective.

“We know more certainly what the risks from vaccines are than we know about the antibiotics that we use on a daily basis in kids, “said Wilson.

Before the three HPV vaccines were licensed by the FDA, each of them underwent years of testing through clinical trials, according to the CDC. Combined, the vaccines were studied in more than 74,000 men and women. De resultaten van de proeven en de daaropvolgende studies tonen aan dat het vaccin veilig en effectief is. De meest voorkomende bijwerkingen zijn pijn en roodheid in het gebied waar de opname werd gegeven, en soms fever, duizeligheid, en nausea, die meestal mild en snel gaan.

En toch zijn de feiten niet genoeg om te overtuigen scared parent.

Victoria Shaffer, an associate professor at the psychological science department, studies how narratives affect health communication. Hun fann at at etter at ha lest historier om hva andre mennesker oppfatter å være de negative resultatene forbundet med vaksiner, var folkets beslutningstaking blevet påvirket – men de var uvitende om det.

I en undersøgelse, forskere gav deltagere data fra Vaccine Adverse Event Recording System, including some stories about bad things that happened to people who received vaccines.

“The very act of hearing the stories changed their attitudes and made them more negative towards HPV vaccines. So even if you hear untrue stories , you can be influenced by them, “Shaffer said.

The use of narratives causes what decision psychologists refer to as” base rate neglect, “where people are more influenced by the vividness of the event than its likelihood of occurrence, Shaffer explained.

“We are storytellers and we collect our worldview based on the story we’ve experienced, and the stories we’ve heard from others,” Shaffer said.

Shaffer said she and other researchers found it challenging To tell a positive story about vaccination, which is usually a nonevent.

“The hard part about that story is that HPV and the consequences of it are so far removed from the time window of vaccination,” Shaffer said. “There don There’s a lot of stories about people who are like, “I love vaccines, I’ve never gotten sick.” “

The current low vaccination rate is shocking to Hunter, who treats women of all ages with HPV-related cancers on a daily basis. He saw women in their 30s or 40s come in with stage three or four cervical cancer, and most of them will not survive the disease, he said.

“Hunter said,

Hunter also served in.

Anywhere he has an audience, he usually gives a plug for vaccinating children with what is the first successful vaccination against cancer, Hunter said.

Hunter also served in an advisory capacity to the HPV vaccination program launched by the Ellis Fischel Cancer Center last year. University Hospital partnered with the Texas-based MD Anderson Cancer Center on the Moon Shots program, which aims to improve cancer prevention, early detection and treatment across the country.

Ward said he was very fortunate because the doctors caught his cancer early enough . He now tells his story to his family and friends.

“I talked to my neighbors,” Ward said, “She says,” Boys? HPV? “” [Talkingtomyneighbors19659002] “I said, you’ve got to talk to your doctor,” Ward said. “All I can do is tell you what I know, and the experience that I’m going through. tell you firsthand. “

” You get it, you know, you’re done. You do not get it, you run the chance, “he said.

He will not know for another five years he’s cured. Looking back, Ward wishes there had been an HPV vaccine for him when he was a kid.

“If there was a vaccine, I would get it,” he said. “I would hope my parents would have wanted me to get it. “

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Information from: Columbia Missourian, http://www.columbiamissourian.com

An AP Member Exchange shared by the Columbia Missourian.

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