Perceptions of Cervical Cancer to Asian American Women’s Health

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Project Description/Summary: According to Merck Manual Consumer Version, in the United States, cervical cancer, which is also called cervical carcinoma, is the third-most-common gynecologic cancer among all women and cervical cancer is especially common among younger women(Cervical). So what is this? The abbreviation for HPV is Human Papillomavirus, which “is the most common sexually transmitted infection”(Human). “It is most commonly spread during vaginal or anal sex”(Human). Terribly, “HPV can be passed even when an infected person has no signs or symptoms”(Human). In this project, the objective is to figure out the importance of the HPV vaccine to prevent cervical cancer. By doing this research, we want more people to pay attention to the women’s health and call on more Asian American women to have HPV vaccination. Compared with the data of cervical cancer cases in the last century, currently, the mortality of cervical cancer has dropped attributes to the prevalence of HPV vaccines.

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However, in a few areas of the United States, due to the low prevalence of HPV, cervical vaccines are not popular and are even not known by the majority of the public. Actually, in most cases, HPV goes away on its own and does not cause any health problems at the early stage; however, when HPV does not go away, it can cause health problems like genital warts and cancer(Human). Some adolescents do not realize the importance and necessity of the HPV vaccination for preventing cervical cancer. Through this research project, we intend to help Asian American women increase their understanding of cervical cancer, which might cause their deaths and should take precautions against it at an early stage. Approach: Before we taking any actual action, we should do the researches first. From websites, we learned about certain kinds characteristics of cervical cancer and HPV vaccination. Then we visited the Tang Center and lots of other organizations online or physically.

For example, we visited YWCA Berkeley center located at Bancroft Way. Staff there introduced their volunteer programming to us, including the techGYRLS, the girl mentoring program, and else. After that, we choose Tang Center as where we will do the volunteer work. In addition to obtain the community’s understanding of HPV and HPV vaccine, we designed to take a survey among the community. Through our surveys, we hope to test on how well people know about basic information of HPV and HPV vaccine and propagate matters and importance of HPV vaccination. The survey questions are attached in Appendix A. We created six questions in our survey, and our sample size will be a hundred people, including male, female, and other genders. The reason why we will make this is that when we mention HPV and HPV vaccine, most people will believe only women can take the vaccine. However, it’s not true. Males can also take the vaccination. They are highly recommended to take it not only because the vaccine can prevent them from genital warts, but also it will benefit their sexuality erotism and sexual partners. Through this question,we intend to appeal to men to pay attention to women's health. In order to focused on the ethical distribution, we have a question to ask for their identity. At the end of the survey, we listed answers for the HPV questions, and we also explained how the topic matters their health problems. Through that, we can fulfill our purposes of doing the survey. Then we will go to the Tang Center to start our volunteer work in order to deeply research on our topic women’s health: the perception of cervical cancer and the importance of HPV vaccination.

Preliminary Findings: What we have done so far is brainstorming ideas and doing a lot of researching on what questions should we put on the survey form more appropriately for students on campus to answer. We went to Tang Center to ask questions and obtain more knowledge relevant to HPV vaccines and cervical cancer. From what we learnt in Tang center that in the united states, each year approximately 4,000 women die from cervical cancer; deaths from cervical cancer are approximately 270,000 in the whole world. The HPV vaccines mostly focus on against HPV Types 16 and 18, which are associated with 70% of all cervical cancer and most vaginal and vulvar cancers(Immunizations). Not only protecting from getting cervical, vaginal, and vulvar cancers but also protecting from getting infections of genital warts. Getting vaccines in the early age can significantly reduce HPV related infection and disease. The HPV vaccines work for both males and females and their ages between 9 and 26(Immunizations). There would be three injections during six-month period. Another comment questions we learnt from Tang center is that quite amount of students thought that hpv vaccines would not work after sexuaily activated. However, it is not true. Preferably, women should have injected vaccines before they become sexually active. This is because the vaccines are most effective in females who have not yet been exposed to or infected with these types of hpv can get the full protection from the vaccine. However, if you are already sexually active, you could also benefit from the vaccines. You might be exposed by some part of hpv types but unlikely all types. Therefore, you could still benefit and get some protections from vaccines.

The difference between you get vaccines before sexually active and after sexually active is whether you can get full protections from vaccines or not. Implications for the community: Our project is designed to help Asian American women, including us, improve their acquaintance of cervical cancer and HPV in the community. We will call on both males and females in the community to be vaccinated against cervical cancer. Males should also learn the importance of getting vaccines, and this action not only benefit themselves but also protect women from getting infections by virus. Nowadays, the society is still dominated by males in most industries. Therefore, it is a significant movement to let men acknowledge that their actions can directly influence women’s health. HPV Vaccinations for males can let women feel more secure in both mental and physical condition. By doing so, we can reduce the death rate of cervical cancer in the United States. The whole society should pay more attention to women’s health not only for Asian American women. We should encourage Asian American women to feel more confident to express their thoughts and not shy about talking about their health issues because of the cultural influence.

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