Saturday, February 21, 2009

Shoot out HPV: Being astig and fighting against cervical cancer

Don't you love the color pink and purple? At least most of my friends do, especially the girly ones and hence the color scheme for today's event was a very attractive sight:

Bloggers from different genres (both male and female) were invited in an event by Bravehearts, a multi-sectorial coalition dedicated to raising awareness on cervical cancer prevention. Over lunch at Bizu (coherent with the pink-and-purple theme) we were given a talk on cervical cancer and a good news - that it can be prevented and there is a vaccine against it. Yes, there is a vaccine against cervical cancer. I'm not on crack or on too much Bizu macarons.

Over scrumptious lunch, we were given a talk on cervical cancer and facts about it by Dr. Rebecca Singson.

She explained to us what cervical cancer is (basically malignant growths in the cervix and it's an after-effect of the STD known as HPV or human papillomavirus, a wartlike virus that is rsistant to heat and dessication), its causes, statistics, and complications. I found out that here in the Philippines, 10 million women die of cervical cancer every day and it is the highest killing cancer next to breast cancer. Cervical cancer is also the cancer that affects the Filipina at the prime of her life. Plus not only could it affect her health, but also her quality of life and social life as well.
In conjunction, I also found out that women with 5+ pregnancies could be at risk for cervical cancer as well, since the immune system is weakened during this time, making her more susceptible to illnesses and to catch HPV, the virus which causes cervical cancer.

Actually, the thing is, cervical cancer is actually treatable if diagnosed early. In fact, there is a vaccine against cervical cancer already (GSK), and this could be given to females as early as 10 years old. Dr. Singson stated that her daughter has been vaccinated as early as when she was 13 years old. Actually, celebrities have already received the vaccination as a protection against cervical cancer. Vaccines can be administered also to women who have undergone menopause and partial hysterectomies (but take note: for women with complete hysterectomies or cervical hysterectomies, they don't need this vaccine already).

Despite the serious topic, the event lets go of the usual drama and melancholy of cancer campaigns. Aside from the bright girly colors of pink and purple, another activity the event had after lunch was target shooting (Why be drama when you could fight it, right?) Unfortunately, Erika and I were not able to go to this event as we had prior commitments, but the message sure stuck to us. :) We do plan on getting our vaccinations as well (the price of the vaccination has been lowered to fit a wider range). After all, more than good makeup, health is one investment.
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