HPV Cancer Resources: My New Website for Parents, Patients, Partners, and Healthcare Providers
Originally posted 10/22/2018
Today’s blog post is a little different. I wanted to share with you some exciting news about my new website: HPV Cancer Resources. I spent much of the summer putting together this new and very comprehensive website with the following goals in mind:
To spread awareness about HPV, a virus that causes six different types of cancer in people.
To educate parents about, and advocate for, the safe and effective HPV vaccine, which can prevent infection with the virus and thereby block the development of these cancers.
To refute misinformation about the safety and efficacy of the HPV (and other) vaccines by anti-vaccine groups that is, unfortunately, widespread on the Internet.
To share an organized collection of resources specifically curated for HPV cancer patients and their family members.
To provide basic information for all new cancer patients about the different types of scans and cancer treatments, how tumors are staged, how clinical trials work (and how to find one), and much more.
Those were my goals, but who did I design this website for?
I built it to provide useful information to four groups:
Parents: there’s a tremendous amount of misinformation and downright lies about vaccines on the Internet, including the HPV vaccine. I have an extensive series of FAQ that will give parents the straight scoop about HPV and the vaccine that can safely and effectively prevent infection. Parents don’t need to take my word for it. All of the FAQ include a number of linked references to authoritative sources including the CDC, NCI, NIH, WHO, and the American Cancer Society. Read the information, and then talk to your pediatrician about giving your kids the HPV vaccine.
Patients: if you’ve been newly diagnosed with an HPV-caused, or other type of cancer, you will undoubtedly have lots of basic questions. That’s why I assembled information on tumor staging, how clinical trials work, and the different types of scans and various treatments that cancer patients are likely to be offered. I go beyond that to provide practical suggestions as to how patients and their partners can find appropriate clinical trials if desired, how to gain access to scientific articles (which can be very costly if you don’t know how to do this), suggestions for finding healthcare advocates if you need one, and even how to hire someone to challenge medical bills that seem incredibly bloated (or simply wrong). I also have links to a large number of HPV-cancer patient support and advocacy groups (from all around the world) that can provide all kinds of help to patients and their families.
Partners: getting diagnosed with cancer sucks (trust me, I know). But being a friend or partner of a cancer patient can be taxing as well. You may be called upon to drive patients to and attend doctor appointments, get medications, look up all types of information, and provide the patient with guidance and/or support. The resources on HPV Cancer Resources are designed to help you with at least some of these tasks, or point you towards other organizations that may be of assistance.
Providers: doctors, in case you haven’t noticed, are incredibly busy. Patients come in all the time with questions that they can’t answer because keeping up with developments in medicine is challenging for everyone. The extensive collection of more than eighty FAQ on my website, along with my detailed, authoritatively sourced answers, will help them answer their patients questions, and once again direct them to resources or support organizations that might be of help to their patients.
As a survivor of an HPV-caused cancer as well as a cancer researcher, this is one way I’ve chosen to give back and help others. There was no vaccine against HPV when I was a kid, but today parents have the ability to protect their kids from developing six different types of cancer. And while there is a lot of information out there on HPV-caused cancers, it’s not easy to track it down, and some of it is contradictory. Please take a look at HPVcancerresources.org, and if you find the information useful, share it with family, friends, and on social media!
Any feedback, positive or negative, will be greatly appreciated. If you can think of additional resources you’d like me to add, just let me know and I’ll add them if I’m able. Thanks for your help!
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