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The Food and Drug Administration’s approval of a nonavalent vaccine against the human papillomavirus (HPV) represents another important step in the eradication of cervical cancer, according to the Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO). It is estimated that the seven “high-risk” HPV types found in the nonavalent vaccine can potentially prevent more than 90 percent of cervical cancers and a similarly high number of other HPV-associated cancers of the vulva, vagina, anus, penis, and some head and neck cancers.
“As the healthcare providers for women who suffer from cervical and lower genital tract cancers, members of the SGO have always been advocates for the primary prevention of cervical and other HPV-related cancers,” says SGO president Richard R. Barakat, MD. “Vaccination against HPV is a powerful way to eliminate these cancers.”
SGO reiterates its strong support for vaccination of adolescent girls and boys, including the routinely recommended age group of 11 to 12 year olds, the group in which these vaccines have been found to be most effective. Also, SGO recommends that women undergo cervical cancer screening as recommended by guidelines.
In 2014, the American Cancer Society estimated that 12,360 women would be diagnosed and 4,020 women would die from cervical cancer in the United States. “HPV vaccination should result in a significant decline in these numbers, but it is critical that physicians urge parents to take advantage of the rare opportunity to prevent cancer through a simple vaccine,” Barakat says.
Source: Society of Gynecologic Oncology