Many Americans Unaware Of Cancers Associated With HPV

NBC News reports a study of over 6,000 men and women indicates “the majority of American adults are unaware” that “HPV, or human papillomavirus, can lead to a variety of cancers,” including oropharyngeal cancer. The survey found that while “two-thirds of women 18 to 26 understood that HPV can cause cervical cancer,” only one-third of men in that age bracket knew about the connection between HPV and cervical cancer. Moreover, “overall, 70 percent of adults of any age were unaware of the link between HPV and other cancers.” The findings were published in JAMA Pediatrics.

HealthDay reports, “The researchers found that among people eligible for the vaccine, only 19% of men and 31.5% of women had been advised” by their health provider to get vaccinated against HPV. “The message from providers can be as simple as: ‘I strongly believe in the importance of this cancer-preventing vaccine for [your child],’” said Dr. David Fagan, vice chair of pediatrics at Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park, New York. “I find it effective to emphasize the parents’ role in preventing their child from getting HPV-related cancers.”

An ADA Science Institute-developed Oral Health Topics page on cancer (head and neck)offers information on HPV, detection, ADA policies, and resources for dentists. The National HPV Vaccination Roundtable guide for dental healthcare providers also offers information on how dental professionals “play a critical role in combating growing rates of HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancers.”

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