Surviving and Fighting Cancer
My name is Lillian Kreppel. I am a go-getter, resourceful, fun, and funny—and I love life. I also love to meet interesting people, encountering different cultures, and traveling. I am very inquisitive, curious, interested, and a good listener. I am a people person and an influencer. I am unanimously positive and like to help others. I live in New York City and love to take advantage of all it has to offer. Because of what I went through late last year, with cancer, I am on a mission to educate the masses and to save lives.
One of the ways you can help yourself is to be aware that what feels like a hemorrhoid, if it persists, might not be. Go to a doctor! It could be a tumor like the one I had. Do not self-diagnose or wait! Another way is to make sure your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, etc., all get the HPV vaccine between the ages of 10 and 12 years old. The type of cancer I had also occurs in the head, so if you or someone else has a bump on the neck or feel something in the throat, again, do not self-diagnose or wait! Go to the doctor, because men tend to get HPV-related cancers in the head, neck, and throat. HPV is a skin virus that nearly all people will have at some point in their lifetime. In addition to cervical cancer, the virus can cause anal cancer and at least four other cancers.
To protect yourself:
See your physician right away if you notice any lumps, bleeding, pain, or abnormal discharge in your anogenital area, including hemorrhoids that do not go away. If your physician is unable to answer your questions, ask for a referral to a colorectal surgeon.
During a routine visit to a gynecologist, there is a quick exam he or she can conduct to screen for anal cancer. It is called a digital rectal exam and involves the insertion of a finger to feel for abnormalities.
To protect your children:
Vaccinate your kids against HPV. Like putting suntan lotion on your children, the HPV vaccine reduces the risk of getting cancer. Children are recommended to be vaccinated at 11–12 years old; at this age, they have the highest immune response and lowest likelihood of existing exposure to the virus.
To end these cancers forever:
Be involved. Anal cancer and HPV are misunderstood. Educate yourself, family, and friends about this silent epidemic. Help raise awareness to support prevention, research, and patient programs to end HPV. You can sign up to volunteer or donate to the cause at www.analcancerfoundation.org.