HPV and the cancer-preventing vaccine
Genital human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the USA. There are more than 40 HPV sub-types that can infect the genital areas of males and females. Additionally, some HPV types can also infect the mouth and throat. HPV is generally transmitted from personal contact during vaginal, anal or oral sex.
HPV is linked to cancers in men and women, and because there are so many subtypes, research has established which HPV types are linked to certain cancers. HPV is believed to cause nearly 5% of all new cancers across the world, making it almost as dangerous with regards to cancer as tobacco. If you are looking for an actual way to prevent cancer, the HPV vaccine is one of the handful evidence-based methods to block some dangerous cancers.
In 2012, cervical cancer killed over 4,000 women in the USA. About 70 percent of cases of cancers in the tongue and throat are caused by HPV–and for boys, those type of cancers are as dangerous and life-threatening as cervical cancers are to women. Many other cancers, like anal, penile, and vulvar, all disfiguring and dangerous, are related to HPV infections. And they all can be prevented by HPV vaccinations.
Since the HPV vaccine may prevent up to 90 percent of HPV-related cervical cancers, saving thousands of lives every year, it is troubling that not every boy and girl in the USA (or anywhere else in the world) is vaccinated against HPV.
Even more concerning is the fact that not every physician who takes care of these children aren’t strongly recommending it every day to every patient under their care.