(HealthDay News) — The majority of cancers linked to human papillomavirus (HPV) are preventable, according to a report published in the July 8 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Using data from national cancer registries, CDC analysts searched for cancers that have links to HPV. They found an average of 38,793 such cancers annually from 2008 to 2012. When the researchers examined these cases closely, they confirmed the HPV connection in 79 percent of them (30,700). The agency estimates that as many as 28,500 of these were preventable with recommended HPV vaccination.

Cervical cancer, and oropharyngeal cancers in men, accounted for most of the HPV-associated cancers diagnosed from 2008 to 2012. Whites had higher rates of oral and throat cancers than blacks and Hispanics. However, Hispanics and blacks were more likely to have cervical cancer than whites. The state with the highest cervical cancer rate was West Virginia; Vermont’s rate was the lowest.

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“Full vaccination coverage of the U.S. population could prevent future HPV-attributable cancers and potentially reduce racial and ethnic disparities in HPV-associated cancer incidence,” the report’s authors write.

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