***MEDIA ADVISORY***

March 10, 2016

by Lisa Berry

Prevent Cancer Foundation Calls for Focus on Existing Prevention Strategies in Light of President’s Moonshot

Foundation Finds Few People Understand Link between Viruses, Cancer 

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 7, 2016 – The Prevent Cancer Foundation, health care leaders and members of Congress will convene Monday for a briefing on the lack of public awareness of the link between certain viruses and cancer. In light of the White House’s “Moonshot” initiative that promises future progress in the fight against cancer, the Foundation will highlight the need to take advantage of existing cancer prevention strategies, including vaccination and screenings for viruses that cause cancer.

A panel discussion will follow on recent research findings on patient and health care provider knowledge and attitudes about the link between the human papillomavirus (HPV), hepatitis B, hepatitis C and related cancers. The Foundation also will discuss its multi-year education campaign Think About the Link™, an effort to increase awareness of the connection between viruses and cancer.

WHO:  

  • Speakers Include:
    • Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI)
    • John T. Schiller, Ph.D., Deputy Chief, Laboratory of Cellular Oncology, National Cancer Institute
    • Erich Sturgis, M.D., M.P.H.,  Professor, Department of Head and Neck Surgery, Division of Surgery, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
    • Anna Giuliano, Ph.D., Director, Center for Infection Research in Cancer (CIRC), Moffit Cancer Center
    • Rohit Satoskar, M.D., Medical Director, Liver Transplantation, Medstar Georgetown University Hospital Transplant Institute
    • Kim Jappell, Health Educator and Advocate

WHERE:              

Rayburn House Office Building
Gold Room (2168)
Washington, D.C., 20515

WHEN: 

Monday, March 14, 2016
Noon – 1:30 p.m. EST

WHY:

  • More than half (53 percent) of adults are not aware HPV can lead to cancer if untreated.[1]
  • Almost all cervical cancers are linked to HPV. The virus also is linked to vulvar, vaginal, penile, and anal cancers, as well as cancer of the head and neck and back of the throat.[2]
  • Sixty-seven percent of adults are not aware hepatitis B increases the risk of liver cancer.1
  • Approximately 700,000 to 1.4 million people in the U.S. have a chronic hepatitis B virus infection,[3] and approximately 3.5 million people in the U.S. have a chronic hepatitis C virus infection.[4]
  • Seventy-three percent of adults are not aware that hepatitis C treatment can reduce the risk of liver cancer.1
  • Only 7 percent of adults indicated their physician has recommended one or more vaccines specifically to reduce cancer risk.1
  • Despite the cancer risk, vaccination rates for HPV are low. Only 39.7 percent of adolescent girls and 21.6 percent of adolescent boys have received all three recommended doses of the HPV vaccine.[5]

RSVP: Space is limited. All reporters are asked to RSVP in advance to Katie Milgrom at kmilgrom@apcoworldwide.com. Lunch will be served.  

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[1] Sourced from a survey conducted by the Prevent Cancer Foundation in partnership with Russell Research Firm.

[2] CDC. “Genital HPV Infection – Fact Sheet.” February 23, 2015. http://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/stdfact-hpv.htm.

[3] CDC. “Hepatitis B FAQs for the Public.” October 23, 2015. http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hbv/bfaq.htm.

[4] CDC. “Hepatitis C FAQs for the Public.” January 8, 2016. http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hcv/cfaq.htm.

[5] CDC. “Teen Vaccination Coverage.” July 30, 2015. http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/who/teens/vaccination-coverage.html.

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