SBU School of Dental Medicine is taking action against HPV cancers with the help of Stony Brook Cancer Center’s CPiA team! This semester, CPiA was invited as guest lecturers to educate SBU dental residents about HPV cancers and HPV vaccination. HPV causes six types of cancer, including oropharyngeal cancers, or cancers of the mouth and throat. The HPV vaccine can prevent oropharyngeal cancers and the five other cancers caused by HPV, and dental providers can support vaccination by:
• Including immunization history on intake forms and discussing the HPV vaccine when reviewing medical history or during oral exams.
• Recommending HPV vaccination to patients in the recommended age range and referring to primary care provider if not vaccinated. Help refer patients to primary care provider if care is not established.
• Displaying rack cards and posters throughout practice promoting the HPV vaccine, and making materials available for patients or parents who would like more information.
Dental residents learned these strategies to increase HPV vaccination in our interactive session, as well as how to address vaccine hesitancy with patients and parents, current trends in HPV cancer burden, and vaccine assistance resources for under and uninsured patients. Residents found the session informative and felt “empowered” to know they can have an impact on cancer prevention as dental providers. The course professor, Dr. Rekha Reddy, DMD, plans to add this topic to the course syllabus going forward and has already invited CPiA to present again for the spring semester. CPiA thanks Dr. Reddy and the SBU School of Dental Medicine for empowering our future dental providers to take action against HPV!