Two recent articles highlight the value of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines. A USA Today opinion piece by MSK’s Dr. Nancy Y. Lee, Dr. David G. Pfister, and Dr. Richard J. Wong cites an MSK estimate that the pandemic has led to one million missed HPV vaccine doses in adolescents with public insurance since March 2020. HPV causes 31,000 cancers in the United States each year, and the vaccine is a safe and effective way to reduce this disease burden.
A Yahoo article features MSK’s Dr. Abraham Aragones, who works to promote HPV vaccination. Research links 70% of head and neck cancers to HPV, and men are five times more likely than women to be affected by these cancers. But boys and men are vaccinated at lower rates than girls and women.
In 2018, the FDA extended its recommendation for HPV vaccines through the age of 45. Make sure the adolescents in your life get their HPV vaccine doses, and talk to your doctor about getting them, too. Cancer prevention can begin with you.