Press release on oral cancer
This press release resulted in articles in national publications like USA Today and the Boston Globe. After researching the subject and conducting interviews with experts, I was able to present controversial, scientific information in accessible terms without dumbing down the story.
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Press release on oral cancer
This press release for the Oral Cancer Foundation merited news coverage in the Boston Globe andUSA Today in October 2007.The Oral Cancer Foundation Urges HPV Vaccination for MalesFor the public health, we need to fast-track research now, says foundationNEWPORT BEACH, CA--On the heels of a study published this month in the journal Cancer, the OralCancer Foundation is urging researchers to investigate the safety of human papillomavirus (HPV)vaccinations for males.“The study affirms what we have long believed, namely that the vaccine can reduce oral cancer rates ifgiven to both males and females,” says Brian Hill, executive director of the foundation.Currently, the vaccine, which shields against HPV strains 6, 11, 16 and 18, is administered to girls andadolescent females to protect against cervical cancer.Deaths from cervical cancer, which number about 4,000 annually, have steadily declined due to improvedmethods of early detection. Oral cancer, however, does not have a reliable method of early detection andwill kill 8,000 Americans this year. The cancer is usually not found until its latest stages, when prognosisis poor.In fact, oral cancer, which includes the tonsils, base of the tongue and soft palate, and side and back of thethroat, is one of the few cancers on the rise in the United States, despite years of declining tobacco use.Tobacco use has been historically considered the most significant risk factor for the disease.“Fewer people are using tobacco, but more people are getting oral cancer,” Hill says, “What seems like aparadox actually illuminates the expanding role HPV-16 plays in acquiring this disease.”HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States. About 20 million men andwomen have the disease and at least 50 percent of sexually active adults will acquire the virus at somepoint in their lives. The virus can be transmitted either through genital or oral-genital contact.HPV-16, one of the most destructive strains of the virus, was first linked to oral cancer in 2001. Researchhas now established that the virus is a significant risk factor for oral cancer in both men and women.“Widespread use of the vaccine for both males and females before they become sexually active will lowerthe incidence of oral cancer within a decade, I predict,” Hill says.On the other hand, the foundation cautions that delaying research on the safety of this vaccine for maleswill come at a cost: As adolescents engage in oral-genital sex at younger ages, transmission of HPV willincrease and the attendant risks for cancer of the mouth, cervix, vulva, vagina, anus and penis willincrease exponentially.“What we know about HPV-16 as a cancer-causer is just the tip of the iceberg,” Hill says, “The vaccineholds the potential for untold positive benefits to our public health if we act now.”Writing sample for Keri Kramerkerikramer@gmail.com
The Oral Cancer Foundation, founded in 2000, is dedicated to eradicating late-term diagnoses of oralcancer. The foundation advocates for better public understanding of the disease and engages the medicaland scientific communities to develop more effective methods of early detection. The foundationconducts screenings across the country and maintains a Web site with information for patients, the publicand health care providers at www.oralcancerfoundation.org.Writing sample for Keri Kramerkerikramer@gmail.com