Oncologist Promotion of the HPV Vaccine

The human papillomavirus (HPV) is responsible for approximately 600,000 of the 1 million new virus related cancer cases each year. However, the HPV vaccine has potential to reduce that number drastically. “There is a tool at hand to potentially prevent 600,000 cases of cancer each year”, said Dr. Howard Bailey, Director of the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center and lead author of a policy statement published this week in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Even so, the vaccine completion rate in Wisconsin and throughout the United States remains low.

Dr. Bailey, a recent chair of the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s (ASCO) cancer prevention committee, called out fellow oncologists saying, “We are obligated to promote underused interventions that have the potential to save millions of lives…” The ASCO group hopes to increase HPV vaccination rates to 80 percent—a figure set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The goal is to accomplish increased vaccination rates through better education of health care providers and improved clinical management, along with increased access to low-cost vaccines, further research on HPV vaccine effectiveness, and more advocacy from oncologists when explaining the importance of vaccination to patients.

You can learn more by visiting UWHealth’s press release.