National Cancer Institute Stresses Importance of HPV Vaccine

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Jill Chadwick

News Director

Office: (913) 588-5013

Cell: (913) 223-3974

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jchadwick@kumc.edu

            Sixty-nine of the nation’s NCI-designated cancer centers, including The University of Kansas Cancer Center, have issued a call for action to urge an increase in HPV vaccination rates for the prevention of cancer. Approximately 79 million people in the United States are infected with HPV, which causes the majority of cervical, anal, oropharyngeal and other genital cancers. But only 40% of girls and 21% of boys in the United States receive the recommended three doses of the HPV vaccine.

          Kansas has the lowest HPV vaccination rate in the nation, and is losing ground, especially in vaccinating girls. The rate is not quite as bad in boys.

            A common reason parents give for not having their children receive the HPV vaccine is the belief that it leads to earlier sexual contact, though research has proven that it doesn’t. 

            Dr. Joshua Mammen is a surgeon at The University of Kansas Hospital who treats patients with head and neck cancers, which often come from the HPV virus. In the video, he explains what the NCI statement means, why the Kansas vaccination rate is so low, why the vaccine is so helpful, how it’s improved and how safe it is, the types of cancer that can result from HPV and why head and neck cancers can be so hard to treat. For TV friendly chemotherapy, radiation and cancer surgery, go to the File section of the Medical News Network.