Why I support the HPV vaccine after my tonsil cancer treatment

When an ear, nose and throat doctor confirmed that I had tonsil cancer in October 2016, it came as something of a relief. I know that probably sounds strange. But compared to the other types of cancers I’d been worried I might have, this one didn’t seem so bad. My doctor told me the tumor he’d found wasn’t very big and was clearly visible through a scope. He also said it was in an easily accessible location, so it should be fairly simple to remove. Still. It was cancer. And it was expected that I would need to have surgery and either chemotherapy or radiation therapy to get rid of it. Finding out my cancer had been caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) — which can now be prevented with the HPV vaccine — was surprising.   Teeth cleaning leads to tonsil cancer diagnosis My dentist (who is also my sister-in-law) is the one who discovered the lump in my neck. I hadn’t noticed any symptoms, but she always feels around my neck during a teeth cleaning. And in September 2016, she found a lump on the left side of my neck that she didn’t remember being there before. She suggested that I watch it for a week, and have it looked at by my regular physician if it didn’t go away. My doctor, who confirmed that the lump had not been there during my annual physical in May, ordered an ultrasound. When the results showed a swollen lymph node in my neck, he referred me to an ear, nose and throat doctor. That specialist examined me with a...