UMGCC Joins Nation’s Cancer Centers in Endorsement of HPV Vaccination for Cancer Prevention
In response to low national vaccination rates for the human papillomavirus (HPV), the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center (UMGCC) has joined all National Cancer Institute (NCI) cancer centers in issuing a statement urging for increased HPV vaccination for the prevention of cancer. These institutions collectively recognize insufficient vaccination as a public health threat and call upon the nation's physicians, parents and young adults to take advantage of this rare opportunity to prevent many types of cancer.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HPV infections are responsible for approximately 27,000 new cancer diagnoses each year in the U.S. Even though many of these HPV-related cancers are preventable with a safe and effective vaccine, HPV vaccination rates across the U.S. remain low, with under 40 percent of girls and just over 21 percent of boys receiving the recommended three doses. 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.
"We all see and treat lots of patients with cancer associated with the human papillomavirus. It is entirely preventable at this point but not enough young people are getting the vaccine. The best way to treat a cancer is not to get it."
- Dr. Kevin Cullen, "Hopkins, Maryland cancer centers pushing for more use of HPV vaccine," The Baltimore Sun