ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The Prevent Cancer Foundation® is calling on health care professionals to take the pledge to talk to their patients about getting vaccinated for the human papillomavirus (HPV). The Foundation launched the digital pledge as part of the Think About The Link® campaign about viruses that can cause cancer.
Research shows health care professionals have significant influence on a patient’s decision to get the HPV vaccine, or in the case of young patients, the parents’ decision. However, many health care professionals are not recommending the vaccine to all their patients who meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.
HPV accounts for approximately 31,500 new cancer diagnoses in the U.S. every year. It causes more than 90 percent of all cervical cancers, and is also linked to the majority of vaginal, vulvar, penile, anal and oropharyngeal (back of throat) cancers. Though the HPV vaccine is proven to be a safe and effective cancer prevention tool, it remains underutilized by preteens, teens and young adults.
“We need health care professionals to commit to talking to their patients about the link between HPV and cancer, and to encourage patients to get the HPV vaccine for cancer prevention,” said Carolyn Aldigé, president and founder of the Prevent Cancer Foundation®. “Having that conversation with patients and their parents is one of the first steps in increasing vaccination rates to stop cancer before it starts.”
Taking the pledge also provides access to free downloadable materials to assist health care professionals in having meaningful conversations about the HPV vaccine with patients and parents, including:
Think About the Link® HPV & Cancer fact sheet
A Guide to Vaccinations for Parents
Parent fact sheet: Grow Up Healthy Tips for Kids
CDC Tips for Talking to Parents about the HPV vaccine
Think About the Link® is a prevention and education campaign from the Prevent Cancer Foundation® to advance awareness of the connection between certain viruses and cancer. The campaign focuses on three viruses linked to cancer: human papillomavirus (HPV), hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Think About the Link® aims to increase screening rates for the viruses, increase immunization rates for HPV and hepatitis B and raise awareness of and access to available treatment options for hepatitis C.
About the Prevent Cancer Foundation®
The Prevent Cancer Foundation® is one of the nation’s leading voluntary health organizations and the only U.S. nonprofit organization focused solely on cancer prevention and early detection. Founded in 1985, it has catapulted cancer prevention to prominence and fulfills its mission through research, education, outreach and advocacy.