Masonic Cancer Center Partners with Nation’s Top Cancer Centers to Endorse Goal of Eliminating HPV-related Cancers in the United States

June 7, 2018

Joint statement empowers parents, young adults and physicians to act to increase vaccination rates and screenings to eliminate HPV-related cancers, starting with cervical cancer.

MINNEAPOLIS/ST PAUL (June 7, 2018) – Nearly 80 million Americans – one out of every four people – are infected with human papillomavirus (HPV). And of those millions, more than 31,000 will be diagnosed with an HPV-related cancer this year. Despite those staggering figures and the availability of a vaccine to prevent the infections that cause these cancers, HPV vaccination remains low in the United States.

The Masonic Cancer Center has partnered with 69 other National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer centers to issue a statement urging for increased HPV vaccination and screening to eliminate HPV-related cancers, starting with cervical cancer. These institutions collectively recognize insufficient vaccination as a public health threat and call upon the nations’ physicians, parents and young adults to take advantage of this rare opportunity to eliminate several different types of cancer in men and women.

“The HPV vaccination is one of the few opportunities we have to actually eradicate a class of cancers (HPV-related cancers), and it is devastating that the American population is not taking advantage of this opportunity even though it has been proven to be safe in multiple post-marketing studies,” said Deanna Teoh, MD, assistant professor in the Medical School and Masonic Cancer Center member. “Rates of vaccination are especially disappointing for males, who are at risk for HPV-related oropharyngeal (head and neck) cancers as well as other cancers (anal cancers and penile cancers). HPV-related oropharyngeal cancers are increasing in incidence and expected to surpass the incidence of cervical cancer in the near future.

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 a number of barriers to overcome to improve vaccination rates, including a lack of strong recommendations from physicians and parents not understanding that this vaccine protects against several types of cancer in men and women. HPV causes multiple cancers including cervical, anal, oropharyngeal (middle throat) and other genital cancers.

HPV experts from the nation’s top cancer centers, along with partners from the NCI, 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 ways to reduce barriers to vaccination, as well as share education, training and intervention strategies to improve vaccination rates.

This is the third year that all NCI-designated cancer centers have come together to issue a national call to action. All 70 cancer centers unanimously share the goal of sending a powerful message to parents, adolescents and health care providers about the importance of HPV vaccination for the elimination of HPV-related cancers.

About the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota

The Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota is a Comprehensive Cancer Center designated by the National Cancer Institute. For more than 25 years, researchers, educators and care providers have worked to discover the causes, prevention, detection and treatment of cancer and cancer-related disease. Learn more at cancer.umn.edu.

HPV Statement 

 

 

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