Vim & Vigor - Spring 2020 - UVA - 18

18

Eliminating
Cervical
Cancer

As a UVA doctor who specializes in gynecological cancers,
Linda Duska, MD, loves being
able to follow women through
their entire treatment. One
part of her job that she
hopes will end soon is having
to tell a 20- or 30-something
woman that she is going to
lose her fertility as a result
of lifesaving treatment for
cervical cancer. "Every time
I see someone with cervical
cancer, I think: This can be
prevented by screening, and
it can be prevented by vaccination," she says.
Cervical cancer killed
some 311,000 women in
2018, more than 85 percent
of whom lived in low- and
middle-income countries,
according to the World
Health Organization. But
even Appalachia, including
southwestern Virginia, has
high rates of deaths from
cervical cancer. UVA Cancer
CenterĀ is part of a five-year
study with the goal of eradicating cervical cancer in this
part of Virginia.
For her part, Dr. Duska
is overseeing a multisite
research study to improve
treatment for cervical cancer
that has spread. She is trying
to learn how an immunotherapy drug (approved in
2018 by the Food and Drug
Administration for cervical
cancer) works. While this
drug is quite effective against
lung cancer and melanoma,
it is effective in only a small
number of women with cervical cancer. So, Dr. Duska
adds, "if we can catch this
cancer before it ever happens, that is going to be our
best bet."

SPRING 2020 VIM & VIGOR

HPV is widespread-if you have had sex,
you have likely been exposed to it. About 79
million people in the U.S. have HPV-and the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
estimates 14 million are newly infected each
year. In most cases, the body's immune system attacks the virus and kills it, and a person
never knows it was there. But sometimes, it
causes serious problems, laying the groundwork for future cancers.

HPV-Positive Throat
Cancers Increasing

Each year, about 34,800 cases of cancer are
found that are probably caused by HPV,
according to the CDC. A little less than a third
of those are cancers of the cervix. More than
a third are cancers of the oropharynx, the back
part of the mouth that includes the back third
of the tongue, the tonsils, the soft palate and
the side and back walls of the throat.
The rate of oral and throat cancers that
are not caused by HPV has been dropping,
while oropharyngeal cancers caused by HPV
are increasing. From 1988 to 2004, one study
found, the rates of oropharyngeal cancer
where signs of HPV were present increased
by more than 200 percent.
And oral cancers that show signs of HPV
disproportionately affect men.
"In a 15-year period, the number of men
diagnosed with oral cancer in the United
States has doubled, and we think it is because
of HPV," says Anna Giuliano, a research professor for the American Cancer Society. "So,
we do of course still care about preventing
cervical cancer-absolutely, that is a major
global problem. But in the United States, what
is emerging is this significant rise in the incidence of oral cancers associated with HPV.
This is not just a female disease."
And even though researchers say the
most effective way to prevent HPV-and
HPV-associated cancers-is through the HPV
vaccine, many people still don't get vaccinated
or choose to vaccinate their children. As of
2017, the most recent data available, about
half of adolescents in the U.S. were up to date
on HPV vaccines.

Hear
from a
UVA Cancer
Fighter

About 4,250 U.S.
women die each
year from cervical
cancer. But experts
like Linda Duska, MD,
a UVA Health gynecologic cancer expert,
hope to reduce that
number by advancing
treatments. Visit
uvahealth.com/duska
to hear why Dr. Duska
says you should come
to UVA for cancer care.


http://www.uvahealth.com/duska

Vim & Vigor - Spring 2020 - UVA

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vim & Vigor - Spring 2020 - UVA

Contents
Vim & Vigor - Spring 2020 - UVA - Cover1
Vim & Vigor - Spring 2020 - UVA - Cover2
Vim & Vigor - Spring 2020 - UVA - Contents
Vim & Vigor - Spring 2020 - UVA - 2
Vim & Vigor - Spring 2020 - UVA - 3
Vim & Vigor - Spring 2020 - UVA - 4
Vim & Vigor - Spring 2020 - UVA - 5
Vim & Vigor - Spring 2020 - UVA - 6
Vim & Vigor - Spring 2020 - UVA - 7
Vim & Vigor - Spring 2020 - UVA - 8
Vim & Vigor - Spring 2020 - UVA - 9
Vim & Vigor - Spring 2020 - UVA - 10
Vim & Vigor - Spring 2020 - UVA - 11
Vim & Vigor - Spring 2020 - UVA - 12
Vim & Vigor - Spring 2020 - UVA - 13
Vim & Vigor - Spring 2020 - UVA - 14
Vim & Vigor - Spring 2020 - UVA - 15
Vim & Vigor - Spring 2020 - UVA - 16
Vim & Vigor - Spring 2020 - UVA - 17
Vim & Vigor - Spring 2020 - UVA - 18
Vim & Vigor - Spring 2020 - UVA - 19
Vim & Vigor - Spring 2020 - UVA - 20
Vim & Vigor - Spring 2020 - UVA - 21
Vim & Vigor - Spring 2020 - UVA - 22
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Vim & Vigor - Spring 2020 - UVA - 27
Vim & Vigor - Spring 2020 - UVA - 28
Vim & Vigor - Spring 2020 - UVA - 29
Vim & Vigor - Spring 2020 - UVA - 30
Vim & Vigor - Spring 2020 - UVA - 31
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Vim & Vigor - Spring 2020 - UVA - Cover3
Vim & Vigor - Spring 2020 - UVA - Cover4
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