WSU Common Reading
Cervical cancer in 1951 killed Henrietta Lacks, whose “immortal” cancer cells are the subject of this year’s common reading book at WSU. Sixty years later, PAP smears, viral detection techniques and a vaccine are reducing the number of deaths from cervical cancer. The human papillomavirus that infected Lacks is a sexually transmitted disease. It has been shown to infect more than 50 percent of students on college campuses. It continues to live in her cells, which are used in all kinds of research worldwide. WSU faculty member Mary Sanchez Lanier leads this discussion.