Human papillomavirus (HPV) related cancers are on the rise. Recognizing this fact, Dr. David King, an oncologist with Minnesota Oncology, located in Fridley Medical Center, is doing his part to spread awareness about HPV and sexually transmitted diseases among local teens.
Over the course of 2013, with the support of Minnesota Oncology and the Virginia Piper Cancer Institute-Unity Hospital, Dr. King presented HPV and cancer prevention talks in health classes at Fridley and Coon Rapids high schools, reaching nearly 300 students. Utilizing an interactive PowerPoint, which included an audio response system, students were able to actively participate in the presentation while remaining anonymous. In addition to providing information about the prevalence of HPV, Dr. King also discussed risk factors and lifestyle decisions that could aid in the prevention of HPV-related cancers.
“This presentation was honestly informal and real,” one student commented. “I like how it was interactive and nothing was awkward. Thanks for coming, and it would be great for every class to have this presentation.”
As area schools continue to find cancer prevention topics of great value and relevance, Dr. King plans to maintain his work educating local youth on these important issues. Additionally, he hopes to expand his presentation to include facts about tanning beds and their relationship to skin cancer, as well as cessation or smoking-related topics.
“Working directly with kids in their environment and with information they can use in their decision making, we believe our message can make an impact in preventing HPV cancers in their future,” Dr. King said. “The work is fun, the kids ask great questions and they want us to come back with more information each year!”
Note: This article originally appeared in Unity Hospital’s physician newsletter.