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Immunizing Adolescents to Prevent Cancers

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a common virus that can lead to cancer. About one in four people are currently infected with HPV in the United States and approximately 14 million people, including teens, become infected with HPV each year.1 In many cases the HPV infection goes away on its own, but when it does not the HPV may cause cancer in some people.

  • HPV is known to cause cancers in the following locations: cervix, vagina, vulva, penis, anus, rectum and oropharynx (back of the throat including the base of the tongue and tonsils).
  • Approximately 33,700 new cases of cancer in the U.S. each year are caused by HPV. Of these cancers, about 20,260 were among women and 13,477 among men.2
  • Current HPV vaccines prevent over 90% of all HPV-related cancers from happening.3

Tracking Progress

MaineHealth pediatric and family medicine practices have substantially increased their up-to-date rates for HPV vaccine.

  • As of October 2018, 59% of adolescents cared for at MaineHealth practices were up-to-date on the full HPV vaccine series (2+doses) by their thirteenth birthday. Just one year earlier, only 54% of adolescents were up-to-date.
  • Among the highest performing practices, Western Maine Health achieved a 73% up-to-date rate and Maine Medical Partners fully immunized 63% of 13-year-olds.

HPV vaccination is cancer prevention

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a common infection that can affect anyone. Almost 35,000 people in the US are diagnosed with a cancer caused by HPV each year. Thankfully, the HPV vaccine is estimated to prevent 90% of HPV-related cancers.

HealthIndex-Immunizations-HPV

The percent of 13-year-olds in Maine who received ≥2 doses of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) immunization rose 5 points 2017 to 2018. 

1 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccination and Cancer Prevention.https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/hpv/index.html (January 2018)
2,3 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "How Many Cancers are Linked with HPV Each Year?" https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/hpv/statistics/cases.htm (December 2017)
4 Immunization Action Coalition. "State Information: HPV Mandates for Children in Secondary Schools" (updated Feb. 17, 2017). http://www.immunize.org/laws/hpv.asp (January 8, 2018)


Adolescent Immunization Schedule

The CDC currently recommends routine HPV vaccination for both female and male adolescents.

Educational Resources

Find information to use with patients and families.

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Implementing Clinical Improvement Plans

MaineHealth practices utilize the clinical improvement plan as a guiding framework for improving childhood immunization rates.
Doctor working with a young boy with his family nearby

Childhood Immunizations

See the progress being made to increase childhood immunizations.
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MaineHealth Health Index

View data on our seven priorities and progress on MaineHealth targets. 

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