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Decrease in cervical cancer rate linked to increased HPV vaccination rate

Decreased cervical cancer rates in the United States, most notably among younger women, is linked to the introduction of the HPV vaccine and its increased use, according to a new study of of more than 650,000 HPV-associated cancers.

Before the vaccine was approved in 2006, cervical cancer rates in women ages 20 to 24 were declining at an average rate of about 3.3 percent. After its approval, the cancer rate is dropping an average of 9.5 percent a year. Vaccination rates among female teenagers has doubled during this time, from about 37 percent in 2008 to about 70 percent in 2018.

However, about 40 percent of HPV-caused cancers occur in men and the rate of oropharyngeal, anal, and rectal cancers are on the rise in males.