1 in 20 of all cancers are caused by a virus called HPV and, in the UK alone, around 2,000 men develop one of these cancers each year. The HPV virus is extremely common, and around four in five (80%) of us, male and female, are infected at some point. Girls are vaccinated against HPV infection, but boys are not.
We want fairness, for all our children to be protected. Please help us prevent the avoidable suffering caused due to the unfair and discriminatory policy to not vaccinate boys. We will be launching legal proceedings to seek a judicial review to challenge this, and we need your help.
I’m Jamie. In 2010 I was diagnosed with and was treated for a cancer of the throat (oropharyngeal cancer) which was caused by HPV (human papillomavirus). I recovered, although I am left with ongoing health problems caused by the aggressive treatment required to treat this cancer.
I don’t want anybody else to have to unnecessarily go through the horrible pain and suffering that cancer causes, so I set up the Throat Cancer Foundation to support others and campaign for universal HPV vaccination. Steve, one of our supporters shares his experience:
The number of throat cancer cases caused by HPV has increased sharply over the past 20 years, and this trend will continue unless we prevent new cases from occurring by vaccinating boys as well as girls. In men, HPV causes cancers of the throat, mouth, penis and anus.
1 in 20 of all cancers are caused by HPV and, in the UK alone, around 2,000 men develop one of these each year. In men, HPV causes cancers of the throat, mouth, penis and anus. The virus is extremely common, and around four in five (80%) of us, male and female, are infected at some point – the virus does not discriminate. There are many types of HPV. Types 16 and 18 are those responsible for causing HPV related cancers.
Girls are currently protected by HPV vaccination, but boys are not, leaving them vulnerable to HPV infection and completely avoidable cases of cancer. This discrimination is unfair and, we believe, unlawful.
The government’s vaccination advisory committee is considering whether boys should be vaccinated and last year issued an interim statement which stated that it did not believe this would be ‘cost effective’, completely ignoring the suffering caused by and lives lost to cancers caused by HPV. We strongly believe that they have a moral obligation to make vaccination available to boys as well as girls.
We are preparing for legal action because we believe it is right to protect the health of more than 400,000 boys each year. The Throat Cancer Foundation has instructed lawyers who have already written to the vaccination advisory committee, and who will prepare for a judicial review as soon as we have secured sufficient funds. We are asking you to contribute to our fund to enable us to fight this discrimination against boys.
Our lawyers have offered to represent us for free due to the importance of this case, but we will still be liable for the court costs. We expect these to be ring fenced at £15,000.
We would be extremely grateful if you could help us raise this money, so we can make HPV and HPV-related cancers a thing of the past. Any funds raised over our target will be used to continue to support those affected by cancer.
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