In May 2016 Steve Bergman was diagnosed with Stage 4 HPV Squamous Throat Cancer. He was 56, fit and healthy, eating a good diet and was a keen cyclist and runner. It took him by complete surprise and within two weeks was admitted to Whipps Cross hospital, in North East London, for what he thought was a routine exploratory operation but had to have radical surgery to remove a massive growth on his right tonsil. He woke up and to his complete surprise was fitted with a tracheostomy.
He was in his hospital for a further two weeks to recover. There then came a period where he underwent six weeks of chemotherapy followed by six weeks of radiotherapy. He then went through a period of physical recovery and the psychological impact affected his everyday life.
Throughout his illness and treatment, along with a professional director and cameraman, Steve recorded his progress and made a short film to support the vaccination of boys against HPV. Girls had been vaccinated since 2008. Since his recovery, he has been a significant voice in campaigning for boys to receive the HPV vaccination. He has made television and radio appearances, spoken at conferences, written newspaper articles, fund raised by rowing across the Mediterranean nonstop and lobbied MPs, as well as working with different HPV charities. In 2019, alongside others, all his efforts paid off and government changed their policy and decided to allow boys to receive the HPV vaccination.
He continues to work with cancer charities; the aim is to keep the focus on research and development as well as working towards completely eradicating HPV.
Updated: July 2021