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When I first started doing the research for How To Climb The Eiffel Tower, I was looking for a physical illness that could be a metaphor for my main character’s psychological pain. Cervical cancer was the perfect metaphor. It is a cancer that caused by a sexually transmitted virus and is preventable by a simple vaccine. I would have been hard pressed to find a better metaphor for Lara’s psychic wounds left by her stepfather’s abuse.

In 2006, the FDA approved a vaccine against the HPV virus that causes the vast majority of cervical cancer cases. Think about it, a vaccine against cancer. Isn’t that what we’ve been working towards? As the mother of two young women, you better bet I got them vaccinated when the vaccine came on the market. 

Here are a few facts about the Human papilomavirus (HPV) :

  • Virtually all (99.7%) cervical cancers are caused by persistent infection with a high-risk type of human papilomavirus (HPV). There are approximately 15 types of HPV, with just two responsible for about 70% of all cervical cancers.5
  • Although HPV is most commonly spread from one person to another through sexual activity, it can also be spread without sex, by skin-to-skin contact with an area of the body infected with HPV.6
  • More than half of all sexually active people will be infected with one or more HPV types at some point during their lives.8 While long-term infection is necessary for cervical cancer to develop, the vast majority of women with persistent high-risk infection do not develop cervical cancer.10
  • Most HPV infections are transient. Up to 90% resolve within 2 to 5 years. On average, a newly diagnosed HPV infection in young women lasts from 8 to 13 months.9

Additional resources:

WebMD discussion
Foundation for Women’s Cancer

THIS POST IS PART OF THE BLOGGING FROM A TO Z CHALLENGE. FOR THE 2014 CHALLENGE, I WILL BE HIGHLIGHTING BITS AND PIECES OF RESEARCH AND BACKGROUND ON MY UPCOMING NOVEL, HOW TO CLIMB THE EIFFEL TOWER. PLEASE CLICK HERE OR ON THE BADGE TO THE LEFT TO SEE THE HUNDREDS OF OTHER PARTICIPATING BLOGS.

Don’t forget to sign up for the chance to win a Advanced Reader Copy of How To Climb The Eiffel Tower during my Cover Reveal Giveaway

 

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