Cancer prevention has been a growing concern among our tribes, with cancer being the second leading cause of death among Alaska Natives. The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a group of more than 150 related viruses, several of which are cancer-causing. This is important to be aware of considering 80% of people will get an HPV infection in their lifetime. Thankfully, the HPV vaccine is a safe and effective means of preventing these cancer-causing viruses.
“In countries where the vaccine has been routine, there has been a dramatic drop in the HPV disease,” says Dr. Stephen Gerrish, MD, Chief Andrew Isaac Health Center, “It is expected that cancers caused by HPV will be largely eliminated in future generations once the vaccine becomes routine.”