Lieutenant Governor Bolling Statement on Cervical Cancer Initiative
Randy MarcusMonday, November 13, 2006
804-786-2078 or 804-814-7117 (cell)
804-786-2078 or 804-814-7117 (cell)
Good afternoon and thank you all very much for being here.
I am here today to announce my participation in an important new health care initiative that is designed to end cervical cancer in our lifetime.
I am pleased to be joined this afternoon by my wife, Jean Ann; by Dr. Cecilia Boardman, a gynecologic oncologist at the VCU Massey Cancer Center; and Ms. Nadine Malpass of the American Cancer Society.
As you all know, throughout my service in the Senate of Virginia, and during my first year as Lieutenant Governor, I have focused a great deal of attention on making certain that quality health care is more available and more affordable for more Virginians.
For example, during my service in the Senate I served as Chief Patron of legislation to create a children''s health insurance program in Virginia. As a result of that legislation we are now providing basic health care services to 135,000 children in low income families.
And earlier this year I announced my Steptember initiative, an initiative that was designed to call attention to the fact that 60% of Virginia''s population is either overweight or obese. Many Virginians have joined me in my personal effort to lose weight, and I am pleased to report that I have lost more than 20 pounds since September 1st, well on the way to achieving my goal of losing 30 pounds before the end of the year.
But there are many other health care issues that we need to address in Virginia, and none is more important than calling attention to the problem of cervical cancer.
Every year 9700 American woman are diagnosed with cervical cancer, and 3700 die from it. But it doesn''t have to be that way.
Most cervical cancer is caused by a virus, the HPV virus. HPV is a sexually transmitted virus, and it is estimated that more than 20 million American women are infected with HPV.
While most HPV viruses will clear spontaneously, some women are infected with a high risk strain of the virus. If left untreated, this virus can lead to cervical cancer.
The good news is that cervical cancer is easy to diagnose and treat.
The best way to prevent cervical cancer is sexual abstinence. If you are going to be sexually active, the use of a condom can help reduce the chance of contracting the HPV virus.
By seeing your doctor and getting periodic Pap tests cervical cancer can be easily diagnosed; and if diagnosed early, the disease is very treatable.
In addition, the Food and Drug Administration has recently approved a vaccine that could help reduce the risk of contracting the HPV virus in most woman. This vaccine, Gardasil, is produced by Merck Pharmaceuticals. Interestingly, this vaccine will be manufactured right here in Virginia, in Merck''s manufacturing plant in Elkton in Rockingham County. Dr. Boardman will talk more about this vaccine and the potential it holds for helping eliminate cervical cancer in our lifetime.
The bottom line is this - by reducing sexual activity, especially among young people; by properly using condoms; by receiving the HPV vaccine as recommended by your physician; and by seeing your doctor for periodic Pap tests; we have the potential of eliminating cervical cancer in our lifetime.
Now, it is my pleasure to introduce Dr. Cecilia Boardman. Cecelia Boardman, M.D., F.A.C.S., a gynecologic oncologist at the VCU Massey Cancer Center. She will talk a bit about the preventability of cervical cancer and share some more information about the Gardasil vaccine.
Ms. Malpass will then provide some additional information about cervical cancer and talk about the importance of spreading the word and enabling more Virginia woman to make the connection between cervical cancer and HPV.
Let me wrap up with just a few more brief comments.
Some of you may be wondering why this is an initiative that I would choose to focus attention on. Well, there are a number of reasons for that.
First, this is an important health issue that affects hundreds of woman in Virginia every year.
Second, this is an area of cancer prevention and treatment where it is entirely possible to eradicate a disease in our lifetime. I think that''s exciting.
Third, this initiative has been endorsed by the National Lieutenant Governor''s Association, and I am pleased to lend my support to that effort.
Fourth, and most importantly, my family has personally been impacted by cancer. My mother and father both died from the effects of cancer, as did Jean Ann''s dad. We know what it''s like when cancer takes those we love from us, and we will do anything we can to help lessen the chance that other families must endure those same experiences.
In the weeks to come we will be doing everything we can to help spread the word and enable more woman to make the connection between cervical cancer and HPV, and to talk about the easy steps that can be taken to reduce the likelihood of cervical cancer and diagnose it early when it does occur.
I am pleased to report that our good friends at COMCAST and COX Communications have allowed Jean Ann and me to record an important PSA that they will begin running this week on their various TV stations across Virginia.
In addition, Jean Ann will be visiting with woman''s clubs and other organizations around Virginia to talk about cervical cancer, and we will both be distributing more than 6000 informational packets that have been provided by the National Lieutenant Governor''s Association and Merck.
I hope you will help us get the word out. Together, we can make the connection and end cervical cancer in our lifetime.
Now, I''d like to show the PSA that will begin running on COMCAST and COX this week, and after that we will be glad to take your questions.
For additional information contact Randy Marcus at 804-786-2078 or 804-814-7117 (cell) or email@example.com.