AN event is being held in Ballincollig next week as part of the Irish Cancer Society’s ‘Decoding Cancer’ series of public talks, aiming to dispel some of the myths around cancer and explore the many advances being made through research in prevention, early detection, treatment, and survivorship.
This week’s talk is ‘The HPV Vaccine: Warts and All’ in The Oriel House Hotel, Ballincollig, on Wednesday, August 24th from 6.30-7.30pm
This year it is estimated that 90 Irish women will die from cervical cancer; 280 more will be diagnosed with this serious cancer with four in ten of them succumbing to the disease within five years; and a further 6,500 will need hospital treatment to remove precancerous growths in their cervix.
HPV causes ALL of these conditions.
A national HPV vaccination programme started in 2010 and means that first year secondary school girls in Ireland are offered the vaccine, which protects against the major strains of the HPV virus that can cause cervical cancer.
There has been much media discussion about claims of effects of the HPV vaccine in some teenage girls giving rise to significant safety fears among parents. However, there has been little discussion of the huge potential for this vaccine to help eliminate an important cause of cancer and the proven medical facts pertaining to the safety of this vaccine.
The Irish Cancer Society is concerned that parents need more information to fully understand the risks of HPV-associated cancers, and need to hear from knowledgeable experts on the vaccine and its safety as they consider consent for their daughters to receive this vaccine. ‘The HPV Vaccine: Warts and All’ will seek to give a complete picture of the importance of the HPV vaccination programme by providing access to expert speakers on a local and global scale.
Speaking ahead of the public talks, Dr Robert O’Connor, Head of Research at the Irish Cancer Society, said: ‘We are at a unique time in the battle to prevent cancer. For the first time, a simple injection holds the promise of bringing us close to the future elimination of a specific cause of cancer. Parents have been asking us whether they should vaccinate their children and why. Our ‘Decoding Cancer’ event will bring in the experts to help parents make a vital and informed choice for the health of their children and future generations.’
Speakers at the talk in the Oriel House Hotel, Ballincolllig, will include: Professor Margaret Stanley, OBE, University of Cambridge, whose research focusses on the development of vaccines and immunotherapies against HPV; Dr Matt Hewitt, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Cork University Maternity Hospital, with moderator Dr Robert O’Connor, Head of Research, Irish Cancer Society.