If you are a woman or have a daughter, you have most likely heard about the vaccinations that are available to prevent Human Papillomavirus (HPV), a group of sexually transmitted infections that, if left untreated, can lead to cervical cancer as well as a variety of other types of cancers affecting women. However, many people are not aware of the fact that vaccinating boys against HPV can protect them from cancer too!
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are over 9,300 HPV-related cancers in men in the United States every year. This can include cancers of the mouth, throat, anus and penis. Many of these cancers could be prevented with the HPV vaccine.
For this reason, many health experts recommend vaccinating boys sometime between the ages of 11 and 12 with Gardasil. Gardasil is currently one of the FDA approved vaccinations for HPV and also protects against genital warts. In addition to helping to prevent certain types of cancers in men, vaccinating boys can also help to reduce the spread of HPV viruses to girls.
For maximum benefit, three full doses of the vaccine is recommended. The series of shots takes place over six months time. It is also recommended that both boys and girls be vaccinated before they have started any type of sexual activity. This will give their bodies the best chance of developing an immune response.
If you have a son or a daughter who is near the age of 11, you may want to proactively talk to his or her doctor about the HPV vaccination. Your child’s doctor is the best person to talk to about the benefits of the HPV vaccination and to answer any questions or concerns you may have about getting your child vaccinated.
Posted on Behalf of Dr. Carlos Alarcon, Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A.