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Public health and cancer prevention: Success and future challenges in cancer policy
Date:12/6/2007

d use, a delay in use of this proven cancer preventative will result in lost opportunity for many young women, says the studys lead investigator. Sherri Sheinfeld Gorin, Ph.D., a senior member of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center and Associate Professor of Health Behavior.

Routine use of the vaccine will play out over time, but how many women will be deprived in the intervening years" she said. Physician recommendation is key to vaccination, and these findings suggest there is a critical need for strategies that encourage physicians to follow through on their own good intentions.

The study first sampled 235 multi-ethnic/racial urban primary care physicians with a questionnaire in early 2006 to see if these doctors intended to discuss use of the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine, when approved, with their young female patients. Its important to know if physicians plan to educate their patients about HPV prevention, because fewer than one-third of the population has heard of HPV, Sheinfeld Gorin said.

They found that 92 percent of the physicians were extremely or somewhat likely to use the vaccine and that doctors who routinely offer pelvic examinations for their female patients, who are more familiar with the professional guidelines for cervical cancer screening, and who are female, were most likely to offer the vaccine.

But a follow-up audit of a proportion of patient charts in these practices, conducted between 12-18 months after the vaccine was approved, found that only 10 percent had vaccinated eligible young patients. By contextual comparison, 14 percent of patients received the hepatitis B vaccine in 1991, about one year after it was approved for universal use among infants.

Sheinfeld Gorin says she has some clues as to why so few physicians actually used the vaccine once it was approved. One is cost: even though the vaccines $360 price tag is usually reimbursed by insurance, physicians have to pay f
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Contact: Greg Lester
greg.lester@aacr.org
267-646-0554
American Association for Cancer Research
Source:Eurekalert

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