SOURCE President's Cancer Panel
Report Outlines Recommendations to Overcome Barriers and Support Cancer Prevention Efforts
WASHINGTON, Feb. 10, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Achieving widespread HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccination is one of the most profound opportunities for cancer prevention, according to a report released today by the President's Cancer Panel. The Panel's report, Accelerating HPV Vaccine Uptake: Urgency for Action to Prevent Cancer, issues an urgent call for energizing efforts to reach the HPV vaccines' potential to save lives and prevent millions of avoidable cancers and HPV-related conditions in men and women. One in four people in the U.S. are infected with at least one type of HPV, a group of viruses linked to multiple cancers and other diseases. The report examines underuse of HPV vaccines, identifies key barriers to increasing vaccine uptake, and provides actionable recommendations for overcoming these obstacles.
"Today, there are two safe, effective, approved vaccines that prevent infection by the two most prevalent cancer-causing types, yet vaccination rates are far too low," said Barbara K. Rimer, DrPH, chair of the President's Cancer Panel. "We are confident that if HPV vaccination for girls and boys is made a public health priority, hundreds of thousands will be protected from these HPV-associated diseases and cancers over their lifetimes."
According to the report, based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2012 only about one-third of 13- to 17-year-old girls in the U.S. received all three recommended doses of HPV vaccine. These rates fall considerably short of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Healthy People 2020 goal of having 80 percent of 13- to 15-year-old girls fully vaccinated against HPV. Immunization rates for boys are even lower – less than 7 percent of boys ages 13-17 completed the vaccine series in 2012 (although the vaccine was approved for males more recently than for females).
The CDC estimates that increasing HPV vaccination rates from current levels to 80 percent would prevent an additional 53,000 future cervical cancer cases in the U.S. among girls who now are 12 years of age or younger, over the course of their lifetimes. Thousands of cases of other HPV-associated cancers in the U.S., a growing proportion of which will occur in males, also likely would be prevented within the same timeframe.
The Panel's report outlines three critical goals that must be achieved to increase HPV vaccine uptake – Reducing missed clinical opportunities to recommend/administer HPV vaccines; Increasing parents'/adolescents' acceptance of HPV vaccines; and Maximizing access to HPV vaccination services – with the ultimate goal being completion of the full three-dose series by all age-eligible adolescents.
Key Findings and Recommendations:
Starting on February 10, 2014, the complete report can be accessed at http://deainfo.nci.nih.gov/advisory/pcp/annualReports/HPV/index.htm. Hard copies may be requested by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org or President's Cancer Panel, 9000 Rockville Pike, Building 31, Room B2B37, MSC 2590, Bethesda, MD 20892.
The President's Cancer Panel consists of three members appointed by the President of the United States. Current members are Barbara Rimer, DrPH, Chair, Dean and Alumni Distinguished Professor, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health; Hill Harper, JD, cancer survivor, four-time New York Times Best-Selling Author, actor, and philanthropist; and Owen Witte, MD, Director, UCLA Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine, and Stem Cell Research Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The Panel, established by the National Cancer Act of 1971, is an independent entity charged with monitoring the National Cancer Program and reporting annually to the President on any barriers to its execution. The Panel does not conduct scientific research, and while support for the Panel is provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) at the National Institutes of Health under the Department of Health and Human Services, its conclusions and recommendations should not be inferred as policy or perspectives of the NCI. More information about the Panel's role and background on its members can be found at pcp.cancer.gov.
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