Reduce HPV-Related Cancers

Testimony by TMA and the Texas Pediatric Society

House Public Health Committee
House Bill 1282 by Rep. John Zerwas, MD

March 17, 2015

Chair Crownover and members of the committee, representing 48,000 physician and medical student members, the Texas Medical Association and the Texas Pediatric Society wish to express our support for House Bill 1282 by Rep. John Zerwas. With the leadership and guidance of the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), we believe this is a thoughtful approach to addressing the increasing incidence of human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated cancers in Texas. 

In 2006-07, several TMA members worked with DSHS to develop a strategic plan addressing Texas’ lack of progress in reducing cervical cancer morbidity and mortality. DSHS brought together health professionals, public and community health experts, the academic community, and other interested stakeholders to plan for a reduction and elimination of cervical cancer deaths. Working together in this planning process, we assessed the various factors contributing to cervical cancer and the most effective prevention methods. We decided upon the most effective and efficient options for Texas, and we came to greatly value this strategic partnership in addressing a preventable cancer. And while we know there is still much to do to eliminate cervical cancer, we also recognize that Texas must and can do more to prevent the other many HPV-related cancers that are being diagnosed in our patients. 

While physicians are working to promote HPV vaccination in our state, we know that multiple factors are contributing to HPV-cancer incidence. A strategic plan for HPV-related cancers as proposed in HB 1282 will again enable DSHS to convene a workgroup to include CPRIT, organized medicine, educators, researchers, and community-based representatives. There will be much work to do to learn more about HPV-associated cancers and identify effective prevention strategies. We also believe it will be critical that the workgroup developing this strategic plan consider the great cultural and geographic diversity in our state in making recommendations to address these cancers. 

Texas has great expertise in public and community health, prevention, medicine, and the like. We believe bringing this expertise together will move Texas forward in the work to more strategically prevent HPV-related cancers. We urge you to positively consider HB 1282, and we ensure our participation in providing support for this initiative. We appreciate Dr. Zerwas’ efforts to bring public attention to this issue and his work in this regard.   

Last Updated On

June 20, 2016

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