Organizations Collaborate to Promote Wellness

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As part of efforts to prevent oral cancer, the American Dental Association and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center are collaborating to develop programs aimed at dental and medical professionals to help increase human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations and encourage cessation of all tobacco use. The joint effort will work toward improving patient outcomes through programs aimed at preventing children and young adults from initiating tobacco use, while encouraging current users to quit. Both organizations also agree that increasing the number of children and young adults vaccinated for HPV is critical to improving their health and reducing risk of several related cancers.

According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 50,000 cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx will be diagnosed this year in the U.S. In addition, HPV infections are responsible for approximately 70% of oropharyngeal cancers, as well as the majority of cervical, anal and genital cancers.

Recognizing that tobacco use and HPV infection are the leading causes of oral cancers, the collaboration seeks to raise awareness among care providers and the public about the associated risks.

From Decisions in Dentistry. August 2017;3(8):12.

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