Think About the Link® Congressional Briefing: Screening and the Importance of Co-Testing for Cervical Cancer Prevention
In honor of Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, Think About the Link® held a briefing on January 18 to discuss the importance of cervical cancer screening, the vaccine for the human papillomavirus (HPV) and a new draft guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) that do not include co-testing as part of its screening recommendations for cervical cancer.
Representatives Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Martha Roby (R-AL) opened the briefing with inspiring remarks about their personal experiences with cancer and the significant impact cancer screening and early detection services, along with the HPV vaccine, have made in the U.S.
Moderated by WUSA-9 anchor and Prevent Cancer Foundation board member Andrea Roane, a panel of experts spoke on their work with cervical cancer screening and the HPV vaccine, as well as their experiences working with patients to spread awareness of HPV and its link to cancer. Panelists were Sherrie Flynt Wallington, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Oncology at the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center; Susan Pankratz, M.D., Clinical Director of the McCarrick Center Medical Clinic of Catholic Charities; and Kara Million, two-time cervical cancer survivor and patient advocate.
Following the briefing, Prevent Cancer Foundation® staff accompanied Kara Million to meet with members of the Texas delegation, Senator John Cornyn (R-TX); Representative Randy Weber (R-TX), Kara’s House member; and Representative Mike Burgess (R-TX), Chair of the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Health. These meetings were critical in conveying the importance of screening and early detection services to members of Congress and allowed Kara to share her first-hand experience with cervical cancer. Each of the offices showed support for Kara and her family and expressed interest in increasing awareness of HPV-related cancer prevention.
Materials from the briefing are available for download:
Think About the Link® Congressional Families Educational Briefing
On June 15, the Think About the Link® campaign and Congressional Families Cancer Prevention Program held a briefing to educate a bicameral, bipartisan group of more than 20 congressional spouses and legislative staff about the link between viruses – HPV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C – and cancer.
Rep. Judy Chu (D-California), who has made viral hepatitis awareness a priority as Chairwoman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, offered remarks on the need to educate on hepatitis B and C prevention and treatment, particularly to Asian-Americans and Pacific-Islanders. The congresswoman noted that these groups are disproportionately affected by hepatitis B and liver cancer.
Following the congresswoman’s address, three medical and public health experts presented information on each of the viruses. Kate Moraras, M.P.H., Senior Program Director of the Hepatitis B Foundation and Director of Hep B United, elaborated on the need to improve vaccination rates for the hepatitis B vaccine, particularly for newborns and high-risk adults (including Asian-Americans and IV-drug users) in the U.S. Stacey Trooskin, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Viral Hepatitis Program at Philadelphia FIGHT, presented on the link between hepatitis C and cancer, and the challenges of educating those vulnerable to infection about screening and treatment. Sherrie Flynt Wallington, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Oncology at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, highlighted disparities in HPV vaccination rates in certain states and areas.
The briefing concluded with a heartfelt story from Kim Jappell, Grants Manager at the Prevent Cancer Foundation®. She shared her story of losing her mother to cervical cancer. Her message emphasized the importance of prevention so others don’t have to go through experiences similar to her family’s.
The following presentations are available for download:
Kate Moraras on Hepatitis B
Dr. Stacey Trooskin on Hepatitis C
Dr. Sherrie Flynt Wallington on HPV
Think About the Link® Congressional Briefing
On March 14, 2016, the Foundation held a Congressional briefing on Capitol Hill to share details about the Think About the Link® Campaign and to raise awareness of the link between certain viruses and cancer with key stakeholders, including government officials, advocacy partners, media and the general public.
Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Michigan) offered remarks about the importance of cancer prevention, followed by Dr. John Schiller, Deputy Director, National Cancer Institute’s Center for Cancer Research, who served as the keynote speaker.
In addition, leading medical experts including, Dr. Erich Sturgis (MD Anderson Cancer Center), Dr. Rohit Satoskar (MedStar Georgetown University Hospital) and Dr. Anna Giuliano (Moffitt Cancer Center) offered their unique perspectives on HPV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C, and vaccination against these viruses in the U.S. The briefing also featured a personal testimony from health advocate and speaker, Kim Jappell, who lost her mother to cervical cancer. More than 90 percent of cervical cancer reports can be traced to HPV.
The following presentations are available for download:
Dr. John Schiller (presentation on HPV)
Dr. Anna Giuliano (presentation on HPV)
Dr. Erich Sturgis (Campaign Overview and HPV-related head and neck cancers)
Dr. Rohit Satoskar (presentation on HBV/HCV)
Watch clips from the briefing here:
John Schiller, PhD
Erich Sturgis, MD Anna Giuliano, PhD
Rohit Satoskar, MD Kimberly Jappel