CANCER PREVENTION

If you could prevent cancer by getting a vaccine would you do it? 

According to data from the CDC, about 39,000 HPV-associated cancers occur in the US each year.  HPV-associated cancers include cancers of the cervix, penis, anus, vagina, rectum and oropharynx.  Despite there being vaccines that are near 100 percent effective in preventing these cancers (and genital warts), the vaccination rates are still very low in the US.  This really makes no sense.  If there was a vaccine against lung cancer, colon cancer or other more “publicized” cancers, wouldn’t you get it?

Current recommendations for the HPV vaccine are as follows:  The vaccination schedule can begin as early as age 9, or as late as age 26 for women or age 21 for men.  If you are between the ages of 9 and 14, you should get two doses of the 9-valent vaccine six months apart.  If you are 15 or older, you still get the traditional 3 dose series over a 6 month period. 

If you want additional information, feel free to contact us or visit www.cdc.gov/hpv.