In 2015, aged just 56, saw Steve Bergman, diagnosed with a stage 4 HPV related throat cancer. This came as a complete shock to him, as he had kept himself fit and healthy over the years, enjoying running and cycling and eating a good diet.
More surprises were in store for Steve. When he was admitted to Whipps Cross Hospital in North London, he thought he was going in to have a routine investigative procedure, only to be told that he would need to have surgery to remove a massive growth on his right tonsil. What he wasn’t expecting, was to be waking up to find that he has been fitted with a tracheostomy…and this wasn’t the end of this journey.
Two weeks after his operation, he had to begin six weeks of chemotherapy followed by six weeks of radiotherapy. Once over, he entered a phase of physical recovery, but still had to process the impact psychologically the throat cancer, treatment and after effect has had on his day to day life.
Steve has a background as an actor and so drawing upon this decided to record, with the help of a professional director and cameraman his journey. The short film focused on sending a message that it is crucial that boys were vaccinated against HPV, to give them protection against developing HPV related cancer, as given to girls since 2008.
Steve has recovered well and even today campaigns rigorously for boys to receive the HPV vaccination. He has also made various appearances in media, such as television, radio and newspaper articles. A regular at conferences and various speaking engagements, he work tirelessly to try to eradicate HPV and reduce the rates of HPV related throat cancers.
We are delighted that Steve is joining us as an ambassador, he will use his voice with to help raise more awareness of HPV, its impact, how it causes throat cancers and how it can be eradicated once and for all.