NCI cancer centers call for more HPV vaccinations

All 69 of the National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer centers issued a statement calling for an increase in the number of HPV vaccinations.

Although certain HPV strains are responsible for many oropharyngeal, cervical, and anal cancers, only 40% of girls and 21% of boys in the U.S. receive the recommended vaccine, according to the NCI.

"The low vaccination rates are alarming given our current ability to safely and effectively save lives by preventing HPV infection and its associated cancers," the statement reads. "Therefore, the 69 NCI-designated Cancer Centers urge parents and healthcare providers to protect the health of our children."

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 27,000 new cancer diagnoses in the U.S. each year are HPV-related, and many of these cancers can be prevented with the vaccine.

"These centers care for patients daily with HPV-related cancers, and there is no greater motivation for prevention than that experience," stated Ernest Hawk, MD, vice president and division head of cancer prevention and population sciences at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, in a press release. "Therefore, they have bonded together in the hope that their collective action will catch the public's attention to highlight the tremendous opportunity we have to prevent these cancers."

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