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Good Samaritan to Offer Educational Forum on HPV

The human papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus that is wildly spreading throughout the country. It is so common that most people get it at some point in their lives. In most cases, the immune system clears the virus before it is detected. If not cleared, HPV can cause multiple cancers such as anal, cervical, throat, vaginal and vulvar cancers in women and anal, penile and throat cancers in men.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Indiana is ranked among some of the highest states in the country for HPV-associated cancer rates with almost 13 out of 100,000 people being diagnosed from 2009 to 2013. Illinois’ rates are not far behind with 12 out of 100,000 people. In fact, a cancer caused by HPV is diagnosed every 20 minutes in the United States.

With the rise of HPV diagnoses and associated cancers, it is important to understand the virus and how it can be prevented. Good Samaritan is offering a valuable opportunity to learn more about the human papillomavirus on Tuesday, October 24. This free event, titled HPV & Cancer – “What You Need to Know,” will be at the Vincennes Fortnightly Building located at 421 N. Sixth Street from 7 to 8 p.m. (EST).

Debra Hardwick, Community Health Coordinator says that this forum will address cancer prevention in the community. “Community Health’s mission is to improve the health of our population and being involved in educating our public is crucial to promoting wellness. Even as nurses we were unaware of the increase in head, neck and other cancers caused by HPV, as well as other details about the disease and vaccine.”

Dr. Mark Pajeau, Board Certified Oncologist at Good Samaritan, will be the keynote speaker. He will be discussing HPV and its relationship to cancers, including cancers of the head and neck. Dr. Pajeau will also speak about the use of HPV vaccinations.

“HPV is a growing concern in our community and the more information we can provide, the better chance we have at decreasing the number of cancers that can occur from the virus,” said Dr. Pajeau. “I encourage everyone to attend the forum to learn more about HPV and how it can be prevented.”

Various local physicians will serve as a panel to answer questions from participants. All are welcome to attend this free informational session. Light refreshments will be served and a $50 Visa gift card will be given away as a door prize. If you would like more information or have any questions about the event, please call Good Samaritan Community Health at 812-885-8753.