The Indiana University School of Medicine National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health is getting ready for a week of raising awareness about human papilloma virus (HPV).
“We have to protect our community,” said Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber, MD, FACP, FAMWA, executive director of the National Center of Excellence. “We have to protect our children, and we need to make our Hoosiers healthier, happier and lead productive lives.”
Each year, more than 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer, which is caused by HPV. About 90 percent of those cases could be prevented with the Gardasil HPV vaccine, which was partially developed by IU School of Medicine researchers in the 1990s. HPV can also lead to some head and neck cancers, anal cancer and anal warts in both men and women.
HPV Prevention Week is a global initiative against HPV and the cancers HPV causes. A week of webinars, called “Us vs. HPV,” are scheduled every day from January 27-31. The webinars are hosted by the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA), Global Initiative Against HPV and Cervical Cancer (GIAHC) and IU School of Medicine National Center of Excellence. Topics include community initiatives and challenges, medical societies’ efforts against HPV, gathering momentum for the global elimination of cervical cancer, HPV-associated head and neck cancers and how HPV affects us all.
Rohr-Kirchgraber is one of the moderators for this year’s event, which is free and open to anyone to watch and listen online.
“We want you all to listen and learn, and we invite you to send in questions and share your thoughts and ideas,” Rohr-Kirchgraber said. “We will also have testimony from patients who have been through some of these cancers so that they can share with you directly the impact of having to deal with these types of cancers and diseases.”
Other speakers include international physicians and scientists actively researching ways to prevent and treat HPV and HPV-related cancers. To learn more about the agenda and to register for the webinars, visit the event registration webpage.