HealthDay News — National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer centers are endorsing the goal of eliminating cancers caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) through HPV vaccination and evidence-based cancer screening, according to a statement from the American Cancer Society and other organizations.

HPV vaccination and cancer screening offer the opportunity to prevent 12,000 cervical cancers and about 40,000 other HPV-related cancers annually in the United States. However, HPV vaccination completion rates remain low across the United States, with only 49.5 and 37.5 percent, respectively, of girls and boys aged 13 to 17 years completing the vaccine series in 2016.

The cancer centers issued a call to action, in accordance with the Healthy People 2020 goals, to reach vaccination of more than 80 percent of males and females aged 13 to 15 years and to screen 93 percent of age-eligible females for cervical cancer by 2020. In addition, prompt follow-up and proper treatment should be provided for those who screen positive for high-grade cervical pre-cancerous lesions. The cancer centers also encourage completion of the recommended HPV vaccine series by age 26 among those not previously vaccinated, and clear and strong recommendations for HPV vaccination and cervical screening from health care providers.

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“We have the opportunity to eliminate multiple HPV-related cancers beginning with cervical cancer. To accomplish this goal, we need to utilize our most important tool — HPV vaccination,” Anna R. Giuliano, Ph.D., director of the Center for Infection Research in Cancer at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute in Tampa, Fla., said in a statement. “We are asking health care providers to stand with us and recommend the HPV vaccine.”

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