Equality Move Will Save Lives

We hear a lot about gender bias and it is absolutely right to correct this form of discrimination whenever and wherever it is encountered.

In one of his last acts as Minister of Health, Jeremy Hunt MP recently announced that boys will now be offered a vaccination against the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).

HPV is a leading cause of cervical cancer in women but is also a prominent cause of cancer of the mouth. So, the news that the vaccination programme will be rolled out to include boys means that the incidence of mouth cancer will be reduced.

Every year more than 7,500 people are diagnosed with mouth cancer in the UK of which more than 2,000 people will lose their life to the disease.

The vaccination for girls has been available since 2008 so whilst it has taken 10 years of campaigning to achieve equality for boys it is a measure that is very welcome and just shows what persistent lobbying can achieve.

Remember though that smoking and excessive drinking are also huge factors in mouth cancer and prevention of mouth cancer can only be truly effective when those risk factors are eliminated. The message still remains to stop smoking and stick to safe alcohol consumption.