USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center has joined 68 of the nation’s top cancer centers in a joint statement urging parents and physicians to vaccinate young people against Human Papillomavirus (HPV).

“The HPV vaccination is a safe, effective way to prevent cancers that occur in both men and women,” said USC Norris Director Stephen Gruber, MD, PhD, MPH. “Because the recommended age for this vaccine is between 11-12 years old, parents should speak to their child’s pediatrician about taking this important health precaution.”

Vaccination rates remain low across the U.S. Research identifies a number of barriers to overcome to improve vaccination rates, including a lack of strong recommendations from physicians and parents not understanding that this vaccine protects against several types of cancer, including cervical, anal, oropharyngeal (middle throat) and other genital cancers.

— Mary Dacuma