Karmanos Cancer Institute among nation's top cancer centers endorsing HPV vaccination for cancer prevention

Jan 27, 2016, 11:00 ET from Karmanos Cancer Institute

DETROIT, Jan. 27, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In response to low national vaccination rates for the human papillomavirus (HPV), the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute has joined the nation's top cancer centers to issue a statement calling for increased HPV vaccination to prevent cancer.

"National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers are at the leading edge of cancer research, care and prevention,"  according to Gerold Bepler, M.D., Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Karmanos Cancer Institute, an NCI comprehensive cancer center.  "At Karmanos, we treat those with cervical, anal, oropharyngeal (middle throat) and other genital cancers that may have been prevented by the HPV vaccination. We join other institutions in recognizing insufficient vaccination as a public health threat and call upon the nation's health care providers, parents and young adults to take advantage of preventing 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.

Seventy-five to 80 percent of the American population will acquire an HPV infection in their lifetimes. The virus is responsible for more than 90 percent of cervical and anal cancers, approximately 70 percent of vaginal, vulvar and oropharyngeal cancers, and more than 60 percent of penile cancers. Oropharyngeal cancers disproportionately affect men and new cases are expected to eclipse that of cervical cancers by the year 2020.

There are three FDA-approved vaccines available to prevent most of these cancers.  Earlier this year, the CDC reported only 40 percent of girls and 21 percent of boys in the U.S. are receiving the recommended three doses of the vaccine. It's recommended that all boys and girls get the three-dose vaccine between the ages 11 and 12.

There remains a stigma related to this virus being sexually transmitted, and parents may not be appropriately educated about the vaccine's safety, efficacy or necessity. Further, evidence suggests physicians may not be adequately recommending vaccination at appropriate ages.

"Given President Obama's 'Moonshot to Cure Cancer' headed up by Vice President Joe Biden, this is an opportune time for the nation's leading cancer centers to join together to create greater public awareness of this significant health issue," said Dr. Bepler. 

For a list of the 69 NCI-designated cancer centers and the joint statement, click: http://www.karmanos.org/upload/docs/About/Endorsing_HPV_Vaccination.pdf

About the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
Located in mid-town Detroit, Michigan, the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, a subsidiary of McLaren Health Care, is one of 45 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the United States. Karmanos is among the nation's best cancer centers. Through the commitment of 1,000 staff, including nearly 300 physicians and researchers on faculty at the Wayne State University School of Medicine, and supported by thousands of volunteer and financial donors, Karmanos strives to prevent, detect and eradicate all forms of cancer. Its long-term partnership with the WSU School of Medicine enhances the collaboration of critical research and academics related to cancer care. Gerold Bepler, M.D., Ph.D., is the Institute's president and chief executive officer. For more information call 1-800-KARMANOS or go to www.karmanos.org.

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SOURCE Karmanos Cancer Institute