News Highlights

PBS News Hour

Why cancer is so hard to fight in rural Kentucky.

Cancer is epidemic in eastern Kentucky, a result of medical illiteracy, limited access to care, unhealthy lifestyles and poverty. In fact, life expectancy in the region is five years shorter than the rest of the nation. But state health officials are aiming to change that with comprehensive prevention and education initiatives. Special correspondent Jackie Judd reports.


News Clip

Gay or bi men who disclose sexual history may get better healthcare

Young men who have sex with men (MSM) who disclose their sexual orientation or behavior to a health care provider are more likely to receive appropriate healthcare, new data suggest.

Dr. Elissa Meites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and her colleagues studied 817 MSM, ages 18 to 26, who had seen a healthcare provider in the past year.
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Kentucky Intervention is Successful in Protecting Appalachian Women from Cervical Cancer

ASPPH Friday Letter #7
University of Kentucky faculty from the College of Public Health, College of Communication and Information, and Rural Cancer Prevention Center collaborated on the development and implementation of a DVD intervention designed to promote the completion of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination series among young women in Appalachian Kentucky. Their work is funded through the Prevention Research Centers program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cervical cancer, a disease that is both preventable and screenable, remains a national public health concern, particularly for women in medically underserved communities, such as those in Appalachian Kentucky. The most common prevention strategy is the three-dose HPV vaccine. However, despite the availability of the HPV vaccine, evidence suggests young women are simply not completing the entire vaccination series as recommended for full cervical cancer prevention.
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A 13-Minute DVD Increases HPV Vaccination

CDC Features
August is National Immunization Awareness Month. Learn more about a 13-minute DVD that effectively promotes and increases the completion of the 3-dose HPV vaccine series that prevents most types of cervical cancer.

It may be possible to curb cervical cancer in rural Appalachian Kentucky. Researchers from the University of Kentucky Prevention Research Center (PRC) have been leading efforts to understand and address cancer-related disparities in this underserved region. Specifically, women in this region have higher rates of cervical cancer and lower rates of HPV vaccination when compared with women in the rest of the country. While the issues behind low HPV vaccination rates may be complex, a strategy may be as simple as showing a tailored 13-minute DVD at a shopping center.
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Rural Kentucky slow to embrace HPV vaccine

Printed in the Lexington Herald-Leader
Last month, actor Michael Douglas caused a stir in the media when he suggested his throat cancer might have been caused by oral sex.

He could be right. Although smoking and alcohol use have long been regarded as the key risk factors, new research indicates that HPV, a sexually transmitted virus, is now the leading cause of mouth and throat cancers in the United States.

But there's an important take-away message to this story: Some cancers caused by HPV can be prevented easily, with a simple series of three vaccinations.
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Health Matters, Radio Broadcast with Dr. Robin Vanderpool (MP3)

Health Matters Radio Show
This show will explain how elk affect scientific research in Eastern Kentucky, and why boys should consider HPV vaccine too.

Video created by UK researchers helps increase numbers being vaccinated for HPV

Printed in the Lexington Herald-Leader
Last month, actor Michael Douglas caused a stir in the media when he suggested his throat cancer might have been caused by oral sex.

Cervical cancer mortality rates are 45 percent higher in Eastern and southeastern Kentucky than in the rest of the country, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control.

One in five women in Eastern and southeastern Kentucky has not had a Pap test during the past three years, and Pap tests are key to revealing cervical changes that can lead to cancer.
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