Hollings Cancer Center

A National Cancer Institute Designated Cancer Center

HPV in South Carolina

US map showing HPV-related cancer rates by state. See CDC link for an accessible version.
HPV-related cancer rates by state. Image by CDC

HPV-related cancers, including cervical, oropharyngeal, and other anogenital cancers (anal, penile, vaginal, vulvar), affect both men and women. South Carolina ranks among the highest states in the country when examining HPV-related oral cancer in males and females.

HPV-related cancers in South Carolina

  • There are more than 580 new cases of HPV-related cancers in South Carolina each year.
  • An estimated 170 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 75 will die from the disease annually in South Carolina.
  • Cervical cancer death rates are more than twice as high in African American women compared to white women in South Carolina.

Vaccination rates continue to rise

line chart showing estimated hpv vaccination coverage from 2016 to 2019 in south carolina and united states

The NIS-Teen survey from the CDC is an annual survey that estimates vaccination coverage among adolescents aged 13–17 years. The 2019 survey shows that South Carolina's HPV vaccination rates are now on par with overall national rates.

bar graph showing 2019 up to date hpv vaccination rates for boys and girls in south carolina and united states

Vaccination rates in South Carolina have steadily increased over the past several years. In 2016, South Carolina had the lowest rate of HPV vaccine completion among adolescent girls in the United States (30.8%) and second-to-last rate among adolescent boys (27.4%). Now, the vaccine completion rate for girls in South Carolina has surpassed the national rate and the gap between the state and national rate for boys continues to shrink.

The HPV vaccine should be given at the same time as other adolescent vaccines. If HPV vaccination is initiated before a child turns 15, only two doses are needed. However, if the vaccine series is started at age 15 or older, three doses are needed.