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Northeast Georgia Medical Center recognized for American Cancer Society partnership

The Northeast Georgia Medical Center is one of three hospital systems in Georgia to be recognized by the American Cancer Society for its work preventing HPV-related cancers.

The HPV Cancer Free Partnership Award is given to hospital systems that collaborate with the American Cancer Society to raise awareness about cancers related to the human papillomavirus (HPV).

“We’re honored to be recognized by the American Cancer Society as a leader in HPV prevention efforts and excited to partner together to better educate those in our community,” Jayme Carrico, executive director of oncology services for NGMC, said in a statement.

About 14 million people, including teens, become infected with HPV each year, and an estimated 80% of people will get the virus during their lifetime, according to the Northeast Georgia Health System. Most HPV cases go away on their own without lasting health problems, but some infections can lead to cancer. HPV infection is known to cause six types of cancer: cervical, vaginal, vulvar, anal, penile and throat cancers. While there is no current treatment available for HPV, vaccination and screening can help prevent most HPV-related cancers. 

“Through funding from this partnership, we’ve been able to reach areas of our community most at-risk,” Carrico said. “By collaborating with Good News Clinics, which provides free medical care to uninsured patients, Northeast Georgia Medical Center has hosted three HPV prevention and educational programs so far in 2019, with more to come. Additionally, we’ve been able to help reduce barriers for women in our community in need of cervical cancer screenings – particularly those who have rarely or never been screened.” 

The American Cancer Society recommends boys and girls ages 11 to 12 receive the two-shot HPV vaccine. Vaccines prevent an estimated 90% of HPV cancers when given at the recommended age, but cancer protection decreases as age at vaccination increases.

Compiled from Northeast Georgia Health System press release