Woman pleads for Utahns to get HPV vaccine to prevent cervical cancer

Jan 19, 2023, 5:30 PM | Updated: 6:59 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month and approximately 14,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with this type of cancer each year.

Dr. Johnathon Grant, a radiation oncologist, at Intermountain Healthcare said long-lasting infections of human papillomavirus are the main cause of cervical cancer.

“Cervical cancer is unique because it is one of few cancers that is simulated by a virus,” he said.

There is now a vaccine to help prevent this disease, the HPV vaccine.

The American Cancer Society said cervical cancer rates have dropped 65% from 2012 to 2019 after a generation of young women were vaccinated against HPV for the first time.

“The HPV vaccine is one of the great success stories over the last ten to twenty years,” Dr. Grant said.

West Valley resident Marianne Peterson, 40, was diagnosed with cervical cancer in September of 2021.

“I just felt like I was floating. It was surreal to be diagnosed with cervical cancer,” she said.

Her last two pap smears came back with abnormal cells and a month before her next yearly checkup she started having heavy bleeding.

Dr. Grant said that is a sign of cervical cancer. She started chemotherapy and radiation treatment immediately.

“I had never felt that sick in my whole life,” she said.

But she kept fighting through the sickness.

“It was mostly making sure I was here to take care of my kids and my dogs but mostly my kids,” Peterson said.

Peterson is now cancer free and spends her time camping with family and friends.

She said if the vaccine was available when she was younger, she would have gotten it. “I just think if there is a vaccine that reduces the risk of getting this disease it’s an absolute no brainer,” Peterson said.

Dr. Grant says the HPV vaccine is recommended for boys and girls between the ages of nine and 26 and before they are sexually active.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Your Life Your Health

(Chopper 5)...
Ayanna Likens

How does Utah’s air quality compare to other states?

Air quality seems to be top of mind for most Utahns. But how does it compare to other states?
6 days ago
Mike Hayes says he noticed changes when he started intermittent fasting...
Ayanna Likens

The health benefits of intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting has become increasingly popular and health experts say there are some benefits to it.
13 days ago
(Duke Speer)...
Ayanna Likens

How blood donations saved a Utah man’s life

Blood donation saves lives, like that of 67-year-old Duke Speer in 2021.
27 days ago
A exercise physiologist preforming one of the test's to measure breathing. (KSL-TV)...
Ayanna Likens

A health assessment could help you reach your health goals

With half of Americans looking to improve their exercise routine, Intermountain Healthcare is offering a health assessment to get a personalized plan to help you reach your goals.
1 month ago
Marc Callister lost 70 pounds...
Ayanna Likens and Cary J. Schwanitz

How to set healthy goals for the new year

With the new year around corner, setting healthy new year’s goals is top of mind for some people. 
1 month ago
Ayanna Likens

A shared cancer journey with provider and patient

Receiving a cancer diagnosis can be scary, but having a support system can help you through it. One teenage girl created an unexpected close bond with her medical provider after her diagnosis.
2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Woman pleads for Utahns to get HPV vaccine to prevent cervical cancer