Only 7% of clinicians recommended to patients that the HPV and hepatitis B vaccines specifically can reduce cancer, according to a recent survey.
“The majority of physicians and other health care providers surveyed reported that discussing cancer prevention with their patients is an effective compliance strategy for HPV and hepatitis B vaccination, yet few are acting on that knowledge,” Carolyn R. Aldigé, president and founder of the Prevent Cancer Foundation, which conducted the survey, told Infectious Disease News. “In addition, few health care providers are talking to patients about hepatitis C prevention.”
Carolyn R. Aldigé
To raise awareness of the link between cancer and HPV, HBV and HCV, the Prevent Cancer Foundation is launching a campaign called Think About the Link. As part of its campaign, the foundation surveyed 657 health care professionals and 1,026 adults in the general population. The survey revealed that most adults are unaware of many facts about these viruses, and few have discussed vaccinations with their clinician. In addition, the survey showed that:
- Fifty-three percent of adults are not aware HPV can lead to cancer if untreated.
- Fifty-seven percent of adults are unaware that HPV vaccination can significantly reduce the risk for certain cancers.
- Ninety-two percent of adults believe more education is needed about the dangers of HPV.
- Sixty-seven percent of adults are not aware HBV increases the risk for liver cancer.
- Seventy-six percent of adults are unaware that HBV vaccination can lower the risk for liver cancer.
- Seventy percent of adults are not aware that HCV can be treated and cured, greatly reducing the risk for liver cancer.
- Only 7% of adults indicated their physicians have recommended one or more vaccines specifically to reduce cancer risk.
“The Think About the Link campaign aims to increase screening rates for the viruses, increase immunization rates for HPV and hepatitis B, and raise awareness of and access to available treatment options for hepatitis C,” Aldigé said. “Physicians and other health care providers can play a central role in cancer prevention one conversation at a time.” – by Will Offit
Disclosure: Aldigé is the president and founder of Prevent Cancer Foundation.