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The National Cervical Cancer Coalition/HPV Cancer Coalition

by Sarina Araujo

Photo by Cancer Type

The National Cervical Cancer Coalition/HPV Cancer Coalition (NCCC) is a grassroots nonprofit organization helping women, family members, and friends battle the personal issues related to cervical cancer and HPV (human papillomavirus) disease. The NCCC has expanded its core mission to include helping both women and men who battle issues related to all HPV cancers; therefore, the NCCC is also called the HPV Cancer Coalition.

NCCC programs include the NCCC’s website, NCCC-online.org, and its interactive cervical cancer/HPV online community. Further programs include the cervical cancer/HPV quilts project, which travels worldwide to help provide a personal face to the devastation cervical cancer and HPV can cause. Furthermore, the NCCC has a Survivor section that allows its members to share their cancer stories. And the NCCC Phone/Email Pals program matches people battling cancer with other members who are coping with the same type and stage of cervical or HPV-related cancer.

The NCCC holds an annual three-day conference that provides interactive discussions, empowering attendees by providing current information related to cancer in a friendly and supportive environment. Its upcoming conference, HPV, Cancer and You: Realationships Matter, October 8-10, 2009, in Chicago, IL, will focus on connecting women, family members, caregivers, and clinicians with one another to build new relationships that matter. Often, cancer can make a person feel alone and isolated. At this conference, attendees will learn updated information about cervical cancer and HPV, as well as have the opportunity to build new relationships. Clinicians who attend will gain insight into the unique needs of people with cervical cancer and HPV and a better understanding of the emotional burden and stigma that comes with having a cancer that is connected with a sexually transmitted infection, such as HPV.

To help reach out nationwide, the NCCC has a Toolkit for its members that gives them the tools they need to communicate the message that cervical cancer is largely a preventable cancer through HPV vaccination, regular Pap testing, and HPV testing when recommended.

As designated by the United States government, January is Cervical Health Awareness Month, and the NCCC provides free posters that promote Cervical Health Awareness, which can be posted locally, reminding people of the importance of prevention and early detection.

NCCC is also supportive of the free Pap test day, which occurs on the second Friday in January, encouraging healthcare providers to offer a free Pap test or HPV test to any woman who has not had a Pap test or HPV test in three years.

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To learn more about the National Cervical Cancer Coalition/HPV Cancer Coalition go to NCCC-online.org.

This article was published in Coping® with Cancer magazine, July/August 2009.