CPiA teams from across the state teamed up to take action against cancer at the New York State College Health Association (NYSCHA) Annual Meeting held in October at the Desmond Hotel in Albany. The CPiA programs at Stony Brook Cancer Center, St. Lawrence Health Initiative, St. Mary’s Healthcare, and Glens Falls Hospital joined forces to table for meeting attendees to promote the importance of cancer prevention in college health.
College and university health centers are at the center of health, wellness, and prevention for their students. Many of these young adults are learning to engage in their health and make their own health decisions for the first time in their lives. CPiA supports colleges and universities in empowering students to practice cancer prevention, and in implementing policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) changes on campus that reduce cancer risk.
With over 37,000 cases of HPV cancers diagnosed in the U.S. annually, and Melanoma emerging as a top five cancer for young adults ages 20-34, cancer prevention has become an important issue in young adult health. The NYSCHA annual meeting allowed us to speak with college health professionals about ways they can increase prevention for their students such as:
- Offering the HPV vaccine at their campus health center, or providing referrals to local pharmacies for campuses who do not carry vaccines.
- Promoting the HPV vaccine as effective prevention against six types of cancer in people of all genders; Ensuring all health services staff are trained on HPV cancers and vaccination.
- Including HPV vaccine in student intake forms as a recommended vaccine and integrating in health center EMR; Ensuring informational materials about HPV are available at health center.
- Stocking wellness carts, vending machines, or other wellness supply kits with sunscreen; Ensuring informational materials about skin cancer prevention are available at health center.
- Installing sunscreen dispensers at outdoor campus locations; providing sunscreen to athletics teams and students engaged in outdoor activities.
- Use campus media such as digital ad panels, campus TV, newspapers/newsletters, and social media to promote sun safety, HPV vaccination, and other cancer prevention strategies.
Want to increase cancer prevention at your college or university?
Contact your county’s local CPiA.