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
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.
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)