ROCHESTER, Minn. - Mayo Clinic Cancer Center joined 69 other National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers in calling for increased HPV vaccination and screening to eliminate HPV-related cancers. Participating centers issued a joint statement.
According to the statement, nearly 80 million Americans - 1 out of every 4 people - are infected with HPV, and more than 31,000 of these people will be diagnosed with an HPV-related cancer this year. Despite those statistics and the availability of a vaccine to prevent the infections that cause these cancers, HPV vaccination rates remain low in the U.S.
"The HPV vaccine is a proven way to prevent certain types of cancer, but it's not being used widely enough," says Robert Diasio, M.D., director of the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center. "We want people to know this is an opportunity to prevent cancer and save lives."
Vaccination rates remain significantly lower than other recommended adolescent vaccines in the U.S. According 2016 data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), less than 50 percent of girls and 38 percent of boys completed the recommended vaccine series. Research shows there are numerous barriers to overcome to improve vaccination rates. Health care providers are not strongly recommending vaccination. Also, parents do not understand that this vaccine protects against several types of cancer, including cervical, anal, oropharyngeal (middle throat) and other genital cancers.
HPV experts from the nation's top cancer centers, along with partners from the National Cancer Institute, CDC and the American Cancer Society, are meeting June 7 - 8 in Salt Lake City to discuss a path forward to eliminating cancers caused by HPV, including reducing barriers to vaccination, as well as sharing education, training and intervention strategies to improve vaccination rates.
About Mayo Clinic Cancer Center
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