ACS: 31,500 diagnosed with HPV cancers annually, most preventable with vaccine

HPV Cancer Free (KHGI)

Human Papillomavirus: it's something four out of five people will get at some point in their lives, that's according the American Cancer Society.

It's this high number that's the inspiration behind their new campaign: HPV Cancer Free.

The concept behind the American Cancer Society's mission is simple: get 80 percent of preteens HPV vaccinated by 2026.

However, the reason why is a little more complicated.

According to ACS, there are many forms of human papillomavirus, in fact over 100, and the cancer society says there is no treatment for HPV. While many of the infections will go away on their own, they say there's no way to know which infections will develop into cancers like cervical, penile, throat and others.

That's why they're hoping to encourage preteens to get this vaccine.

"We're looking at hopefully preventing 90 percent of those cancers that are caused by the HPV virus," said Sara McCarty with the American Cancer Society in Kearney. "So, they're looking at 31,500 people each year get a cancer related disease from the virus and so therefore we can hopefully prevent 29,000 of those."

When it comes to receiving the vaccination series, they say the earlier the better, for both genders.

"So, we're looking at that before their 13th birthday, receiving that series, so 11, 12 years of age but the earlier they do that the more effective it can be," said McCarty. "Essentially if it is further down the road if you're a male you can do it up till you're 21 and then if you're a female up to 26."

To get more information, the American Cancer Society recommends speaking with your health care provider and visiting their website.

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