Cancer Type – Anal cancer
Bio – Farah Fawcett the actress reached international stardom after posing in a red swimsuit, however the late actress could have been a spokeswomen for Gardasil.
Short Story – Many of you may remember her 1970’s photo embracing luscious locks and posing in a red swimsuit, which became the best selling pin-up poster in history. She also starred in the first season of the TV series Charlie’s Angels.
When she was diagnosed in September 2006 with a rare form of anal cancer, she immediately started an aggressive course of treatment : radiation, surgery, and chemotherapy. She issued this statement soon after her diagnosis stating that she was “determined to bite the bullet and fight the fight” while going undergoing six weeks of “cutting-edge, state-of-the-art” treatment.” On her 60th birthday, is was reported she was cancer free.
However only a few months later, a malignant polyp was found, indicating the cancer had returned. Recurrence of anal cancer only happens 15 percent of the time. Fawcett traveled to Germany or treatment not available in the United States. After a three-year battle with cancer, she passed on June 25. 2009.
There are many headlines that suggest we can learn from Fawcett’s anal cancer, voicing the concern to first talk about anal cancer. And second, to recognize that a high percentage of anal cancer patients have tested positive for the strain HPV-16, one of the strains that the Gardasil vaccine protects against.
A Chicago Tribune article in 2015 reported anal cancer is on the rise, “Incidence rates over the past 30 years have jumped by 78 percent in women and 160 percent in men, probably because more people now have more sexual partners and more people have anal sex (both among heterosexuals and gay men), says Lisa Johnson, a cancer epidemiologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle who led the 2004 study.”
We don’t know what caused Fawcett’s cancer, however she has helped raise awareness for the HPV vaccine. You will me missed Farah.
Image Credits – By ABC Television (eBay item photo front photo back) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
|Born||Ferrah Leni Fawcett, February 2, 1947, Corpus Christi, Texas, U.S.|
|Died||June 25, 2009 (aged 62), Santa Monica, California, U.S.|
|Cause of death||Cancer|
|Resting place||Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery|
|Other names||Farrah Fawcett-Majors|
|Education||W. B. Ray High School|
|Alma mater||University of Texas at Austin|
|Spouse(s)||Lee Majors (m. 1973–1982; divorced)|
|Partner(s)||Ryan O’Neal (1979–1997; 2001–2009; her death)|