CHAPEL HILL – Parents ranked cancer prevention as the most compelling reason health care providers can give for recommending the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, according to a survey led by University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers.
The findings, published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, offer guidance as to what doctors and other health care providers should be emphasizing to parents when discussing vaccination for their children against HPV, a sexually transmitted virus that can cause oral, head and neck, genital and cervical cancers.
“Parents confirmed the advice from the CDC and other professional organizations, which is cancer prevention is the most important reason for HPV vaccination,” said UNC Lineberger’s Melissa B. Gilkey, PhD, assistant professor in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. “Providers report giving a wide variety of reasons to vaccinate, but this study suggests what parents really want to hear about is cancer prevention. This was true even for parents who had relatively low confidence in adolescent vaccination.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 41,000 people are diagnosed with HPV-associated cancer in the United States each year. HPV vaccination could prevent most HPV-linked cancers, which include
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