According to the World Health Organization, up to 50% of all cancer cases are preventable.  Prevention and early detection methods hold the promise of decreasing the physical, emotional, and financial burden of a cancer diagnosis and saving and extending lives.  Therefore, the implementation of effective prevention strategies from healthy lifestyles to recommended vaccinations and screenings, is an impactful approach for the control of cancer.

To make an impact on specific areas of prevention, the working group has identified two issues on which to focus, initially:

  1. Increase the completion of the HPV vaccination series in recommended populations for the prevention of various cancers
  2. Improve the awareness that healthy eating and lifestyle choices play a direct role in preventing some cancers


HPV Vaccination

As reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • HPV is a very common virus; nearly 80 million people—about one in four—are currently infected in the United States. About 14 million people, including teens, become infected with HPV each year.
  • Most people with HPV never develop symptoms or health problems. Most HPV infections (9 out of 10) go away by themselves within two years. But, sometimes, HPV infections will last longer, and can cause certain cancers and other diseases, including cervical and other reproductive organ cancers, and oral cancers in men and women.
  • HPV vaccination is recommended for all adolescents ages 11-12 because it prevents nearly all HPV-related cancers and yet just over half of adolescents have completed their vaccination series for HPV.

Goal:   To improve HPV vaccination awareness, understanding, and completion for recommended populations to put us on the path to eliminate vaccine-preventable HPV cancers.

Healthy Eating and Active Lifestyle Environment (HEALE)

  • According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, more than 2 in 3 adults are overweight or characterized as obese.
  • Obesity is now linked to an increased risk of developing 13 types of cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.
  • Obesity also plays a major role in a patient’s cancer journey and is associated with poor survival rates.
  • A healthy eating and active lifestyle that leads to a balance of “energy in” and “energy out” can prevent obesity-related cancer impacts.

Goal: To improve the awareness that healthy eating and lifestyle choices play a direct role in preventing some cancers and can improve a cancer patient’s treatment and survivorship experiences.


HPV Vaccination

  • CHAIR:  Richard Wender, M.D., Chief Cancer Control Officer, American Cancer Society
  • Noel Brewer, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Health Behavior, University of North Carolina
  • Anna Giuliano, Ph.D., Founding Director of the Center for Infection Research in Cancer, Moffit Cancer Center
  • Shalini Kulasingam, Ph.D., MPH, Associate Professor, Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, University of Minnesota
  • Rebecca Perkins, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Boston University
  • Lois Ramondetta, M.D., Professor, Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine, MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Debbie Saslow, Ph.D., Senior Director, HPV related and Women’s Cancers, American Cancer Society
  • Melinda Wharton, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Immunization Services Division, NCIRD, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Greg Zimet, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist and Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Indiana University


  • CHAIR:  Therese Bevers, M.D., Professor, Clinical Cancer Prevention, Medical Director, Cancer Prevention Center, MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Karen Basen-Engquist, Ph.D., Professor, Behavioral Science, Director, Center for Energy Balance in Cancer Prevention and Survivorship, MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, Ph.D., Professor, Webb Endowed Chair of Nutrition Sciences, Associate Director for Cancer Prevention, UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • William Dietz, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness, Professor, The George Washington University
  • Rosie Henson, Senior Vice President, Prevention and Early Detection, American Cancer Society
  • Deanna Hoelscher, Ph.D., R.D., L.D., C.N.S., Professor, Health Promotion, University of Texas
  • Russ Pate, Ph.D., Professor, Director, Children’s Physical Activisty Research Group, University of South Carolina
  • Nancy Sherwood, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Epidemiology and Community Health, University of Minnesota


VIDEO: Preventing cancer: technology, education, and access
Biden Cancer Townhall: on Prevention, Early Detection, and Diagnosis.