European parents a little more informed about the human papillomavirus (Hpv) but not enough. According to a research – conducted by Ipsos in 8 EU countries, sponsored by MSD, on the occasion of the European Week against Cancer (Ewac), which takes place every year from 25 to 31 May – 73% declare to be aware of HPVwith a 4% improvement in awareness levels compared to what emerged from a similar study, conducted in 2019, but with a clear knowledge gap, represented by the remaining 27% (over a quarter of parents) who say they are not aware of itdespite the numbers saying that most sexually active men and women will be infected with some form of HPV in their lifetime.
And again: following the Covid-19 pandemic – the survey still shows – 61% of parents say they feel more informed about vaccinations, but 43% also agree that they are overwhelmed by the amount of information regarding vaccinations available. One in five parents across Europe who are aware of HPV is unaware that it can cause cancer. “Research – he commented Xavier Bosch of the Oncological Institute of Catalonia intervened at the online presentation of the survey – shows a positive result on the increase in levels of awareness of HPV among parents across Europe. However, he noted, there is still much work to be done to redefine the priorities of general immunization and screening programs, along with further efforts to prevent the spread of HPV and the potential growth in the prevalence of this cancer-causing virus. ” .
“In this critical moment – he warned – we need to be more vigilant than ever about the health of our families and loved ones and make sure we take action to catch up on routine health screenings and vaccinationswhich we all know have been curtailed by the pandemic. “
“As a mother I know that all parents want the best for their children and no parent would want to see them contract any disabling disease that could jeopardize their future“, commented Esra Urkmez, Patient advocacy awareness fundraising director, of ‘Engage’ (European network of gynaecological cancer advocacy groups). “That is why it is so important for us fathers and mothers to research, inform ourselves and obtain the correct information that can support us in the decision-making process about the health of our children. However, in the last two years, due to the pandemic, it has become increasingly difficult to parents find their way around the breadth of information available on vaccines and on protecting their children from infectious diseases. Parents should continue to use reliable sources such as the World Health Organization and to talk to their doctor, “he stressed.
“It is important for them to trust the news they receive, to feel fully informed and to know that the HPV vaccine has existed for a long time compared to the one against Covid-19 – added Esra Urkmez – and has been studied and widely tested. The HPV virus and some cancers can be prevented simply by acting now on behalf of our children. If someone is unsure, they should simply talk to their doctor to get more information on how to prevent certain types of cancer, in men and women, “she concluded.
Among the data that emerged from the research, with respect to the level of awareness, it appears that only 1 parent in 2 who is aware of HPV (55%) says they feel informed about the virus and highlights further information gaps, and between the different countries Italy appears to be the most aware. Germany (59%) and Sweden (60%) the least informed. And again, among other findings: only a third (33%) of parents surveyed said they were aware that HPV can cause cancer in both men and women, while 42% were unaware of the vaccinations that could help prevent some cancers.