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Preventable Cancer to Be Discussed June 7

By Holly Smith

May 17, 2017

Volusia County, Fla. - Cancer now is the leading cause of death in Volusia County. However, one cancer is preventable. That will be the message June 7 when medical providers, cancer survivors, parents and community members gather to discuss the human papilloma virus (HPV), its relationship to cancer, and protecting youth and young adults from developing HPV-related disease.

Medical professionals, parents, students and community members are encouraged to attend "Prevent Cancer: The HPV Epidemic" from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday, June 7, at Daytona State College/UCF Campus, 1200 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach. There is no cost to attend. Advanced registration is suggested. Information is online at volusiahealth.com.

"If breast cancer were preventable, it's likely most parents would sign up their child for the vaccine," said Patricia Boswell, administrator of the Florida Department of Health in Volusia County (DOH-Volusia). "HPV is sexually transmitted, so that makes it more difficult for some people to discuss. But it's directly linked to cancer in men and women. And what's more important, we can prevent it."

About one in four people in the United States currently are infected by HPV, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Nearly all men and women get HPV at some point in their lives. When the infection lingers, the virus can cause cancer of the cervix, genitals and throat.

Through vaccination, parents can protect their children today and when they become adults, Boswell added. However, often parents have concerns over vaccine safety and can be uncomfortable talking to their children or doctor about HPV prevention.

Boswell said the purpose of the event is to build awareness of HPV prevention and to open dialogue among the groups represented. Ellen Daley, professor and associate dean at the University of South Florida College of Public Health will discuss cervical cancer and the HPV vaccine. A cervical cancer survivor will share her story. Parental communication and community collaboration also will be discussed.

For more information or to register for the event, please visit volusiahealth.com.

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