If there was a vaccine that could help protect your child
from developing certain cancers later in life, would you want them to get
it? If you answered “yes,” then you should get your child vaccinated against
the human papillomavirus (HPV).
With nearly 80 million Americans infected, HPV is
extremely common (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). There are more
than 100 strains, some of which are deemed “high-risk.” High-risk HPVs can
cause anal cancer, cervical cancer, oropharyngeal cancers, penile cancers,
vaginal cancers and vulvar cancers (National Cancer Institute).
Cancers Caused by HPV:
- 95% of anal cancers
- Virtually 100% of cervical cancers
- 70% of oropharyngeal cancers
- 35% of penile cancers
- 65% of vaginal cancers
- 50% of vulvar cancers
HPV vaccines provide strong protection against many
cancers caused by the virus. “All of these vaccines help prevent infection by
HPV-16 and HPV-18. These 2 types cause about 70% of all cervical cancers and
pre-cancers, as well as many cancers of the anus, penis, vulva, vagina, and
throat” (American Cancer Society).
Both girls AND boys should get the first HPV vaccine in
the 3-shot series when they are 11 or 12 years of age. The HPV vaccines are
safe and effective. Reduce your child’s risk of getting cancer later in life by
getting them vaccinated against HPV.