WASHINGTON, August 23 – It is estimated that 92 percent of HPV-induced cancers can be prevented through vaccination, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said yesterday, adding that increasing vaccination coverage was a key priority.
According to a new study published by the CDC, the human papillomavirus was responsible for an estimated annual average of 34,800 cases of cancer in 2012-2016, which means that more than 32,100 cases a year could have been avoided.
The virus can lead to cancer in both men and women, including cervical, vulva, vagina, penis, anus, and oropharynx (back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils) cancers.
"The future without HPV cancer is within reach, but urgent action is needed to increase vaccine rates," said Brett Giroir, assistant secretary for health.
"Increasing HPV vaccination coverage to 80 percent has been and will continue to be a priority initiative for HHS, and we will continue to work with our government and private partners to accomplish this."
The CDC recommends that all teens receive the HPV vaccine at the age of 11 or 12 to protect them from exposure.
But new data has shown little progress in increasing vaccination rates among 13-17 years.
Overall, only 51 percent of adolescents received all recommended doses, an increase of two percentage points compared to 2017, with vaccination rates being higher among adolescents whose parents received a doctor's recommendation.
The report added that although the vaccine is not usually recommended for people over 26 years of age, some adults aged 27 to 45 who have not been previously vaccinated can benefit if they are at risk and should talk to their doctor for advice.
The report added that HPV vaccination is also key to preventing cervical cancer, recommending a Pap test every three years along with an HPV test in women aged 21-29.
"The HPV test can provide additional information when Pap results are unclear for women 21 years of age and older," reads the report. – AFP