While annual Pap test screenings in the past 30 years have reduced the cervical cancer rate by 50 percent, it isn't the only way to detect cervical cancer. As it turns out, we only need to have one every three years.
When I watched Mr. McConaughey's Golden Globes acceptance speech and he said the film had been turned down 86 times before the financing came through, I couldn't help but think about the taboos that still exist today for other sexually transmitted diseases. Namely, HPV.
For all of her influence on popular culture, and the remarkable performances she left behind, perhaps Farrah Fawcett's greatest legacy was her raw, intimate, honest portrait of a woman fighting for her life -- against cancer.
It seems that many would rather put youth at risk for cancer than face the fact that they may sometimes forego their Tootsie Pops for something a little less sugary. Only time will tell whether we will move toward making HPV vaccines more accessible to young people, including boys.
There was also this disturbing notion that many teens think of oral sex as a low-risk sexual activity; they have a misguided notion that it has less of a risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases.