HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - As the leading global cancer fighting organization, the American Cancer Society (ACS) is embarking on a public health campaign, Mission: HPV Cancer Free, launching this week, June 4-8. The campaign goals are: 1) to increase HPV vaccination rates for preteens to 80% by 2026; 2) eliminate gender and geographic disparities in HPV vaccination.
On June 8, 2006, the FDA approved a cancer prevention vaccine that helps protect against six types of cancer (cervical, vaginal, vulvar, anal, penile, oropharyngeal.) However, now twelve years later only 54% of adolescents in Hawaii, ages 13-17, were up to date with the recommended HPV vaccinations. This means that a huge number of millennials who could have been protected against certain cancers were not. HPV – the human papilloma virus, is a very common infection that causes 6 types of cancer. In fact, 9 out of 10 adults – both men and women – are infected with HPV at some point in their lives. Most of these infections clear up on their own, however, nearly all cases of cervical cancer are caused by HPV.
Through vaccination of young adolescents – both boys and girls, and screening of women, we can eliminate HPV related cancers.
The HPV vaccine (2 shots) is proven to be safe and effective and provides lasting protection when given at the recommended ages of 11-12. Now is the time to get your pre-teen vaccinated. Talk to your pediatrician or healthcare provider.
More information and resources for both parents and healthcare providers can be found at www.cancer.org/HPV or by contacting your local ACS office.