A study just published in the scientific journal Pediatrics shows the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is very effective and safe. In the ten years since patients first began receiving it, the vaccine has slashed rates of the HPV strains covered by the vaccine by more than half in teens and by a third among women in their 20s. And that’s before the newest vaccine with greater coverage of HPV strains had even been introduced a couple of years ago.
This news has doctors at The University of Kansas Cancer Center frustrated because 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. That’s why 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 cervical, anal, oropharyngeal and other genital cancers.
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. Terry Tsue is the physician-in-chief of The University of Kansas Cancer Center. In the video, talks about why there’s some reluctance by parents to have their children vaccinated, but why it’s so important to begin with children and why there’s a huge benefit to having the vaccine. He also talks about how widespread head and neck cancers are, the symptoms, how those cancers are treated, why this is being called an epidemic.