To the Editor:
As a gynecologic oncologist, I see the devastating effects of human papillomavirus infection.
HPV, which infects most people, causes nearly 40,000 cancers yearly in the United States, including cervical, anal and oropharyngeal.
What frustrates me is that most of these cancers can be prevented with an adolescent vaccine.
Yet, vaccination rates nationwide remain unacceptably low.
Figures show just 42 percent of girls and 28 percent of boys completing HPV vaccinations.
To protect the future health of our children, we must raise vaccination rates.
Last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta adopted guidelines recommending just two shots for children under age 15.
All 69 National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers endorse this strategy.
We hope requiring only two shots will make it easier for parents to vaccinate their children to keep them from becoming future cancer patients.
Dr. Lois Ramondetta
Professor, gynecologic oncology
University of Texas M.D. Anderson