Illustration of HPV Virus

HPV and Cancer

Every year in the United States, human papillomavirus (HPV) causes more than 30,000 cases of cancer in men and women, and the HPV vaccine can prevent about 28,000 of these cases from ever occurring.

The human papillomavirus is a group of more than 150 related viruses. There is no way to know which people who have HPV will develop cancer or other health problems. HPV-associated cancers usually do not have symptoms until the disease is quite advanced and much harder to treat. HPV infection can cause:

  • cancers of the cervix, vagina, and vulva in women;
  • cancers of the penis in men; and
  • cancers of the anus and back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils (oropharynx), in both women and men.
"If you could protect a loved one against HPV-related cancer, would you?"
- Dr. Kathleen Cartmell

Among all the cancers caused by HPV, there is only an evidence-based screening test for cervical cancer. Since there is no screening for the other cancers caused by HPV, it is very important to prevent infection with the HPV vaccine.

Hollings Cancer center building exterior

Vaccination Rates in the State

HPV is estimated to cause more than 580 new cancers in South Carolina each year.

HPV in South Carolina

HPV Vaccination Project

At Hollings Cancer Center, we believe in developing the best treatments for cancer and that includes prevention. Dedicated to the mission of raising HPV vaccination rates, Hollings Cancer Center initiated a $700,000 three-year project. The project includes three goals:

  • Engaging provider health care organizations across the state in addressing HPV vaccination through educational efforts and awareness events.
  • Promoting a social and digital media campaign to educate parents and adolescents about HPV vaccination.
  • Fostering a partnership with four health systems in the state, providing funding for customized, targeted work in their systems to dramatically increase HPV vaccination through clinical and administrative strategies.

HPV Vaccination NOW

This is our Moment

Hollings Cancer Center supports HPV Vaccination NOW: This is our Moment campaign. This statewide initiative to improve HPV vaccination rates will protect the health of our children. This campaign includes a social media and mass media awareness campaign to encourage HPV vaccination, healthcare provider training, and partnerships with health systems in the state to improve processes for delivering HPV vaccination to patients.