HPV Vaccination is Cancer Prevention
Thursday October 18, 2018
More and more pre-teens are being vaccinated against the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). Studies show a 64% reduction in vaccine-type HPV infections among teen girls in the United States.
The Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency wants to remind parents that the HPV vaccine series is available, and should be given to all 11-12 year olds – both male and female to prevent cancer later in life.
Nearly all men and women will get at least one type of HPV in their lifetime. About 79 million Americans are currently infected with HPV, and about 14 million more become newly infected each year. HPV is the most common sexually-transmitted disease in the United States. Most people with HPV never develop symptoms or health problems and the infection goes away on its own within two years. But for the people who don’t clear the infection, HPV can be very serious. There is no way to know which people who have HPV will get cancer or other health problems. “There is no treatment for the virus itself,” says Yvonne Atwood, Director of Personal Health and Disease Prevention at the local health department. “There are treatments for the health problems HPV can cause, such as genital warts, cervical changes, and other cancers, but the best way to avoid HPV is to get vaccinated. By doing this, you can protect your child from developing at least six different types of cancer later in life.”
Every year in the United States, over 27,000 people get cancer caused by HPV. That’s one person every 20 minutes of every day, all year long. HPV is the main cause of almost all cervical cancers in women. HPV vaccination is expected to prevent 90% of HPV cancers when given before your child is exposed to the virus.