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"Make the Connection" Between HPV and Cervical Cancer

  Jamie O'Neal and Howard Jones, M.D.
  Jamie O'Neal and Howard Jones, M.D.
  Bracelet beading
  "Make the Connection" bracelet beading

Country artist and songwriter Jamie O’Neal joined Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center’s Dr. Howard Jones, chief of gynecologic oncology, on July 19, 2006, to help Nashville women "make the connection" between infection with a common virus and risk for cervical cancer during the Make the Connection Campaign’s stop in Nashville.

In addition, the Make the Connection campaign, with the help of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, made a donation to the Tennessee Comprehensive Cancer Control Coalition in honor of "community hero" Mary Jane Dewey and her work to eliminate cervical cancer in Tennessee.

Make the Connection is a public education campaign sponsored by the Cancer Research and Prevention Foundation (CRPF) and Step Up Women’s Network, with support from Merck & Co., Inc. – to educate women about cervical cancer and its cause, human papilloma virus or HPV.

The event not only highlighted the importance of regular screening and education, but also featured bracelet beading as a way to bring women together to learn about this important health issue. The bracelets allow them to show their support for cervical cancer education and remind them to share their knowledge with others.

As many as eight of 10 women who have sex will become infected with HPV in their lifetimes. Although for most women an HPV infection will clear on its own, for others, it can sometimes lead to cervical cancer. Taking action early is what’s most important. The key to halting the possible progression of HPV to cervical cancer is to undergo regular Pap screening.

Make the Connection bracelet kits are available free through the campaign’s Web site www.maketheconnection.org (English) and www.hagalaconexion.org (Spanish) or by calling toll-free 888-4-HPV-CONNECT.