Washington — The ADA is supporting new legislation that encourages the use of the human papillomavirus vaccine as a “safe and effective way” to reduce the risk for oral HPV infections and the cancers they can cause.
In a March 4 letter to Rep. Kathy Castor, D- Fla., ADA President Daniel J. Klemmedson, D.D.S., M.D., and Executive Director Kathleen T. O’Loughlin, D.M.D., thanked the lawmaker for introducing HR 1550, the PREVENT HPV Cancers Act.
“As you know, there is a link between HPV and oral health, as HPV can affect the mouth and throat, causing certain head and neck cancers,” Drs. Klemmedson and O’Loughlin said.
In the letter, Drs. Klemmedson and O’Loughlin noted that HPV is now associated with 9,000 cases of head and neck cancers each year in the United States, citing data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“For that reason, we support increasing awareness of this disease and efforts for immunization against it, as well as expanding the research on HPV-associated cancers within the National Institutes of Health and National Cancer Institute,” they said.
“The ADA hopes your legislation would provide the national public awareness needed to help Americans safeguard their oral health against diseases of the mouth, throat and tonsils,” the letter concluded. “We would appreciate the opportunity to work with your office to help educate the public about the benefits of the HPV vaccine. The ADA strongly supports improving the oral health care of all Americans. We thank you for introducing legislation that seeks to do that.”
For more information about the ADA’s advocacy efforts, visit ADA.org/Advocacy.