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Parents of school-aged children are invited to attend a free event featuring Rachel Caskey, MD, a nationally recognized expert on the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 23, at Simmons Cancer Institute, 315 W. Carpenter St., Springfield.

The panel discussion, “The ABCs of HPV,” will also feature local physicians and a cancer survivor. Limited seating is available. Please call 217-545-7493 to register.

Caskey encourages parents to attend the event as an opportunity to “join us for a discussion about cancer prevention and to answer questions about the HPV vaccine.”

She is the chief of the Division of Academic Internal Medicine, an associate professor of internal medicine and pediatrics, and a health services researcher at University of Illinois – Chicago (UIC) School of Public Health. She is also a member of the UIC Cancer Center where she collaborates on efforts to improve HPV vaccination rates to reduce the incidence of HPV-related cancers.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Nearly 80 million people—about one in four—are currently infected with HPV in the U.S.
  • About 14 million people, including teens, become infected with HPV each year.
  • Over 30,000 people in the U.S. each year are affected by a cancer caused by HPV infection.

HPV is a common virus that can lead to cancer. According to the CDC, “HPV vaccination provides safe, effective, and lasting protection against the HPV infections that most commonly cause cancer.”

The American Cancer Society (ACS) also supports HPV vaccination: “Vaccines to prevent human papilloma virus infections are safe and effective. They can protect girls and boys from getting several different types of cancer when they get older. The American Cancer Society recommends the vaccine as one way to keep more people from getting cancer. HPV vaccines protect against high-risk types of the virus that cause most cervical cancers. The virus is also linked to cancers of the vulva, vagina, penis, anus and throat. HPV vaccination is cancer prevention.”

The mission of Simmons Cancer Institute at SIU Medicine is to serve the people of central and southern Illinois by addressing their present and future cancer care needs through medical education, biomedical research, patient care and community service.


Schedule an interview or request more information by contacting SIU Medicine's Office of Public Relations and Communications:

Karen Carlson

Cindy Davidsmeyer

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