HPV Vaccination: A woman’s best defense against Cervical Cancer

Nurses play an important role in health teachings and patient education. As a health practitioner, promotion of health, prevention of  illness and coping with illness and disability are the three major purposes of health teaching. It is better to try to keep a bad thing from happening than it is to fix the bad thing once it has happened. Prevention is the key. Prevention is still better than cure.

I was once again reminded that Filipino women should really be vigilant when it comes to repoductive health. I am a mother and I would do anything I can to be able to take care of my family.  I think i need to have my pap smear done the earliest possible time and get vaccinated so i will be protected from HPV virus.

HPV is the virus behind cervical cancer

It is a common virus that can be transmitted not only by engaging in sexual intercourse but also from meer skin to skin contact( rubbing) of genital area (even without penile penetration)

Cervical cancer is the second most common form of cancer after breast cancer among women worldwide with an estimated 529,409 new cases and 288,000 new deaths reported each year.  Over eighty percent of cervical cancer  cases occur in developing countries such as ther Philippines.There are over 7,000 new cases reported annually. Around 12 Filipinas die everyday because of cervical cancer,which is the biggest cause of female cancer mortality in the Philippines. The Human Papillomavirus or HPV is the necessary cause of cervical cancer. 8 out of 10 women will have HPV in their lifetime. Signs and symptoms are absent in the early stages of cervical cancer. All women are at risk regardless of age, lifestyle or economic status. Because of this, vaccination is our best defense against cervical cancer.

 

How do we prevent Cervical Cancer?

We can prevent Cervical cancer through Screening and Vaccination

Pap Smear: A screening technique wherein cells are scraped from the cervix and examined under a microscope to check for disease or other reproductive health problems. This a just a simple procedure that will save our lives and the lives of our dear family and friends.

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Vaccination:.Vaccines are available against cancer causing HPV types 16 and 18. Getting vaccinated and getting protected can reduce the risk of developing cervical cancer by 94 %

The DOH established a nationwide program called Cervical Cancer Screening Program in 2006 that includes sustainable capability building , educating, training health workers on cervical cancer screening methods such as VIA pap smear and the like.

A vaccine with the potential to protect both young and older women against the main causes of cervical cancer represents a significant milestone in women’s health and is wonderful news for Filipino women and women across Asia. Cecilia Ladines-Llave, head of the Cancer Institute at the University of the Philippines, urged the government to consider subsidizing immunization to be able to cover more beneficiaries.

 Dr. Eric Tayag, president of the Philippine Foundation for Vaccination Inc. said that cheap vaccines ensure that the greatest number of Filipinos are vaccinated against the more serious diseases“The Philippine Foundation for Vaccination Inc. lauds GSK’s offer of a price-reduced cervical cancer vaccine so that it becomes more affordable to a greater number of Filipinos who will be protected against cervical cance.r

GSK took a significant step in the advancement of cervical cancer advocacy to the greater public.“The significantly reduced price of GSK’s cervical cancer vaccine will be a tremendous help to ob-gynes to reach and protect more women from the second leading cause of cancer deaths in women.”

Dr. Victor Doctor, president of the Philippine Pediatric Society, also commends GSK’s efforts saying, “We welcome this initiative to make the vaccine affordable to more female pediatric patients, the future mothers of this nation. In this time of economic difficulties, health should not take a backseat.”

GSK’s cervical cancer vaccine , as approved by the Bureau of Food and Drugs, is for females 10 years of age onwards. It protects against the two most common cancer-causing HPV types, 16 and 18, which together are responsible for over 70 percent of cervical cancer cases in Asia Pacific. It has also shown efficacy against persistent infection caused by 12 other cancer-causing HPV types beyond HPV 16 and 18.

Clinical data also demonstrated that GSK’s cervical cancer vaccine provides this protection for nearly six and a half years, the longest duration of protection reported to date for a cervical cancer vaccine.With this pioneering initiative, GSK hopes to realize its vision of crossing (X-ing) out cervical cancer, enabling more Filipino women to do more, feel better and live longer.

 Preventing the occurence of cervical cancer is important.When we prevent cervical cancer we improve the quality of life of these women and also decrease the mortality rates of the women in the Philippines.

The Philippine Obstetric and Gynecological Society (POGS ) program addresses the needs of filipino women. OB GYNS take care of pregnant women. POGS reviewed its coverage as far as much as management is concered and moved from curative medicine to preventive medicine. Immunization  is one very important preventive strategy. It has actually improved global health , the general health of women next to clean water, not only in children  but in women. POGS started to be active in immunization in 2006 when the advocacy was embraced by the OB GYN society and slowly, they became active in immunization.It’s now part of the training program of the residents.Pogs have this education program for residents and administers specialty board for residents before they can become full pledged specialistso f OB GYN. Immunization is now part of the residency program for OB GYNs. POGS came up with the recommendation and it has developed over the years and came up with the vaccine wheel. This vaccine wheel is handy and it tells ob which particular age group  will require the vacines. OB GYNs will be confident in administering vaccinations when they use the immunization wheel for filipino women.If you protect the women, you protect the child and extend the protection for the rest of the family. When you vaccinate a household you practically prevent a disease , a disease that can be infectious. you vaccinate more, you provide protection for a greater number of people.There are susceptible groups. First are the unborn and newborn babies , elderly and individuals who have chronic ilnesses. POGS said that it is not going to be an easy task. Theydo not only educate their members but they try to reach out to the community and spread information and enculcate in the minds of the women that immuniztion is important to prevent diseases.

The different vaccines that OB’s are knowledgeable:

Hepatitis B Vaccine

Measles/Mumps and Rubella

Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis

OB GYN members are embracing immunization as part of their paractice to support their advocacy to help filipino women and increase the awareness of people that vaccines and immunization can improve the quality of life of filipino people.

POGS mission has always been about fostering womens advocacy .Community services has been conducted and vaccinations were given as part of their advocacy .Through the concerted efforts of POGS committee, task force immunization and GSK, a call to doctors have been made to start educating and counselling  patients about all vaccinations necessary throughout a woman’s life. This mission of improving womens health continues especially  after the many calamities and disasaters the Filipino people has experienced. 

This an important call for us Filipino women , that we must be responsible of our own reproductive health and take part in sharing the importance of prevention to help increase  awareness about the HPV Virus.

Ask your OB GYNs about the HPV Vaccine today.

 

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