In response to low national vaccination rates for the human papillomavirus (HPV), Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey has joined the nation’s top cancer centers in issuing a statement urging for increased HPV vaccination for the prevention of cancer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HPV infections are responsible for approximately 27,000 new cancer diagnoses each year in the U.S. Several vaccines are available that can prevent the majority of cervical, anal, oropharyngeal (middle throat) and other genital cancers. HPV vaccination rates remain low across the U.S., with under 40 percent of girls and just over 21 percent of boys receiving the recommended three doses.
Rutgers Cancer Institute and the other participating National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers collectively recognize insufficient vaccination as a public health threat and are calling upon the nations’ physicians, parents and young adults to take advantage of this rare opportunity to prevent many types of cancer. The effort is being launched in the spirit of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union call for a national “moonshot” to cure cancer, a collaborative effort led by Vice President Joseph Biden.