Friday, August 31, 2018

There's a vaccine for a virus that causes sex-related cancer, but rural teens are less likely to get it or know about it

Cancers associated with the human papilloma virus are increasing, but rural teens are less likely to receive vaccinations that prevent HPV and other diseases, according to studies from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

HPV is a known cause of several cancers, including oropharyngeal (upper throat, the most common type associated with HPV), cervical, vulvar, vaginal, penile, and anal. In an analysis of cancer registries that cover almost 98 percent of the U.S. population, the CDC found that 30,115 new cases of such cancers were reported in 1999 and 43,371 in 2015.

From 1999 through 2015, cancers of the upper-throat cancer increased among 2.7 percent among mena and 0.8 percent among women; anal cancer rates rose 2.1 percent among men and women 2.9 percent among women; and vulvar rates increased 1.3 percent, according to one study.

The other study found that HPV vaccination rates increased from 60.4 percent to 65.5 percent from 2016 to 2017, but rural teens remain less likely to know about HPV or the HPV vaccine, or to understand its role in cancer prevention. "Overall, 67.2 percent and 65.8 percent of urban residents were aware of HPV and HPV vaccine, respectively, compared to only 55.8 percent and 58.6 percent of rural residents," the researchers wrote.

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