The University of Kansas Cancer Center is joining forces with a host of the nation’s top cancer centers to focus the spotlight on eliminating human papillomavirus (HPV)-related cancers in the United States.
The KU Cancer Center is partnering with the other 69 National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer centers in urging an increase in HPV vaccinations and screenings in the hope of ridding the country of HPV-related cancers, beginning with cervical cancer. With the incidence of HPV-related cancers on the rise in both men and women during the last two decades, these institutions are collectively calling on doctors, health professionals, parents and guardians to take action against this public health risk by increasing HPV vaccinations and screenings across the country.
“Having all 70 centers sign the endorsement will hopefully jumpstart the effort to eliminate more than 40,000 HPV-related cancer cases each year,” said Roy Jensen, M.D., director of the KU Cancer Center and vice president of the Association of American Cancer Institutes.
The World Health Organization reports there are more than 100 types of HPV, of which, at least 13 are known to cause cancer. Every year, nearly 80 million Americans are infected by HPV and more than 31,000 will be diagnosed with an HPV-related cancer. Cancers that have been linked to HPV include cervical, throat, tonsil, tongue, anal, penile, vulvar, vaginal and oropharynx.
While HPV infections occur mostly in the late teens and early 20s, the cancers generally don’t start showing up for decades. Experts say the incidence of HPV-related cancers has been on the rise, particularly in young men.
“According to the Kansas Cancer Registry, the incidence of HPV-associated oropharyngeal cancer – a type of head and neck cancer – has significantly increased in the past 20 years, especially among men,” said Hope Krebill, the executive director of the Midwest Cancer Alliance and co-chair of the Missouri Cancer Consortium’s HPV Workgroup. “In the next two years, it is estimated that HPV-related oropharyngeal cancers in the United States will outnumber HPV-related cervical cancers.”
For more details about the HPV consortium, click here: http://www.kumc.edu/news-listing-page/2018-hpv-consortium.html