TODAY | January 08, 2013
>>> we're getting an update on the state of cancer in the united states , a new study released in the journal of the national cancer institute . overall the death rates are inching down, but a rise in hpv -associated cancer is cause for concern. dr. nancy snyderman is nbc's chief medical director . let's start on a positive note.
>> continuing the 2010 year downward.
>> overall since 1970 when nixon declared a war on cancer . lung cancer is down. we aren't smoking as much. some obesity cancers have gone up.
>> the human papilloma virus ?
>> good news, bad news. hpv cancers are markedly up. this is a sexually transmitted virus. we've seen a spike in the last few years. anal cancers have doubled in the last four years. even more are oral cancers, we've seen those double or triple in the last ten or 12 years. the reason is it's now been out there. it also is a virus that causes cancer of the cervix , but pap smears and the phenomenal screening have made it a curable cancer . we haven't taken that kind of screening to cancer of the mouth. the most important thing i want parents to know is this is also a preventable cancer in most cases.
>> there's an anti- cancer vaccine , a little controversial.
>> but i don't understand why it is controversial. every 20 some-year-old should now be vaccinated and the cdc has dropped the vaccination down to 11 to 12-year-old boys. this is not a vaccine so you can say to your children, okay, go have sex. that's not it. it's an anti- cancer vaccine . three doses over six months. when you get this vaccine, it allows your body to build up the antibodies so that when you are exposed to hpv -- and the likelihood is that everyone will be exposed to it at some point, you won't get cancer 10, 20 years down the line.
>> is it effective for preteens?
>> most effective before you've been exposed to the viruses and really geared to the types that cause cancer . i really want to refrain this. the hpv vaccine is an anti- cancer vaccine and the best tool we have now to prevent these illnesses.
>> dr. nancy snyderman , thank you. we'll see you later on in "toda "today's" professionals.