States use cancer incidence and mortality data to determine
problems, set goals and measure progress. National initiatives,
such as Healthy People, a federal program that sets goals for
healthy behaviors in 10-year increments, also provide targets.
For example, Healthy People 2020 established a nationwide
target for HPV vaccination of 80 percent of adolescents by 2020.
The vaccination series, which is recommended to be given
routinely to children ages 11 and 12, protects against cervical,
throat, mouth and other cancers. However, anti-vaccination
sentiment among some people, a stigma surrounding the sexual
nature of how the virus spreads, and the relative newness of the
vaccine have all contributed to low vaccination rates. In 2016,
just six in 10 adolescents ages 13 to 17 had received the first in a
series of HPV vaccinations.
To help increase vaccination rates, the CDC and the
American Cancer Society established the National HPV
A global community
of cancer experts and
Vaccination Roundtable in 2014, a coalition of representatives
from about 75 organizations. The roundtable explores strategies to improve health care provider training, school-based
parent education, national educational campaigns and cervical
cancer survivor involvement.
“Successful cancer prevention and control planning implementation really does rely on a number of factors, and that’s everything from adequate resources to implement programs, strong
collaboration, having coalitions at the state and local level, and
having this network of partners that will really help,” says Hayes.
People in the communities are also powerful “agents of
change,” says Sanford Jeames, a community health educator
who has worked on statewide cancer control efforts in Alabama,
Massachusetts and Texas.
“If you have a campaign to educate merchants about consequences of underage tobacco use, it’s great because the