Cancer Education Center

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PUBLIC PAGE
Thu, Apr 26, 2018 11:35am

HPV vaccination IS Cancer Prevention!

By Megan Roessler M. Ed., @meganroessler

shutterstock_639555388

Article contributed by Angela Young, American Cancer Society Patient Navigator

HPV stands for human papillomavirus. There are more than 150 types of HPV, and HPV infection is very common. Most of the time, infection with HPV doesn’t cause health problems and just goes away on its own. People usually don’t even know they have it. However, in some cases, HPV doesn’t go away. When that happens, some types of HPV can cause genital warts, while other types can lead to cancer.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HPV causes about 31,500 new cases of cancer every year in the United States. Almost all cervical cancer is caused by HPV. The virus has also been linked to cancers of the vulva, vagina, penis, anus, and throat.

HPV gets passed from one person to another during skin-to-skin contact with an infected part of the body. It can be spread through sexual contact. You cannot get HPV from toilet seats, swimming pools, or sharing food. Almost everyone who is not vaccinated will get HPV at some time in their lives.

Vaccinations can protect people from getting the types of HPV that most often cause genital warts and cancer. The vaccinations work best when given to people when they’re young.

Vaccinating your child against HPV protects them from getting infected with HPV when they’re older. Even if someone waits until marriage to have sex, they could still get infected with HPV from their spouse. The vaccine does not lead to changes in sexual behavior. Studies show young people who get the vaccine do not start having sex any earlier than those who did not get the vaccine.

American Cancer Society recommendations:

  • Routine HPV vaccination for girls and boys should be started at age 11 or 12. The vaccination series can be started as early as age 9.
  • HPV vaccination is also recommended for females 13 to 26 years old and for males 13 to 21 years old who have not started the vaccines, or who have started, but not completed the series.  Males 22 to 26 years old may also be vaccinated.*
  • HPV vaccination is also recommended through age 26 for men who have sex with men and for people with weakened immune systems (including people with HIV infection), if they have not previously been vaccinated.

*For people 22 to 26 years old who have not started the vaccines, or who have started, but not completed the series, it’s important to know that vaccination at older ages is less effective in lowering cancer risk.

For more information click links below:

HPV information for parents

HPV vaccination facts

Vaccination timeline

 

My daughter is 5 and her school sent home a form this weekend requesting permission to administer the HPV vaccine, I am not at all sure she should be given it at this time, I feel she's to young and not enough information has been given to the public about the vaccine and it's side effects, another thing is I'm very afraid that the vaccine may not be of the highest quality, there has been a lot of rumors in our country about low grade medication being administered to patients. I would very much appreciate some feedback from anyone who's child has had the vaccine have their been any adverse effects and/or side effects? And for those who have refused the vaccine, what were your reasons?

@pamelacelia

My daughter is 5 and her school sent home a form this weekend requesting permission to administer the HPV vaccine, I am not at all sure she should be given it at this time, I feel she's to young and not enough information has been given to the public about the vaccine and it's side effects, another thing is I'm very afraid that the vaccine may not be of the highest quality, there has been a lot of rumors in our country about low grade medication being administered to patients. I would very much appreciate some feedback from anyone who's child has had the vaccine have their been any adverse effects and/or side effects? And for those who have refused the vaccine, what were your reasons?

Jump to this post

@pamelacelia, the recommended age for HPV vaccination is 11-12 years old for girls and boys in the US, Canada, and Europe. It can be given early, starting at age 9. Five years old is younger than typically recommended.

The Center for Disease Control published this series of frequently asked questions about HPV Vaccine Safety that may help to answer some of your concerns https://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/vaccines/hpv/hpv-safety-faqs.html

Like you, I wanted to get the facts before getting my daughter vaccinated. For me the benefits far outweighed the potential adverse effects. My daughter was vaccinated at age 12 and she did not experience any side effects other than slight tenderness where the needle was given. She is now 15 and there has been no further side effects. I'm glad that there is something I could do to protect my child from some types of cancer.

May I ask what country you live in?

@colleenyoung

@pamelacelia, the recommended age for HPV vaccination is 11-12 years old for girls and boys in the US, Canada, and Europe. It can be given early, starting at age 9. Five years old is younger than typically recommended.

The Center for Disease Control published this series of frequently asked questions about HPV Vaccine Safety that may help to answer some of your concerns https://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/vaccines/hpv/hpv-safety-faqs.html

Like you, I wanted to get the facts before getting my daughter vaccinated. For me the benefits far outweighed the potential adverse effects. My daughter was vaccinated at age 12 and she did not experience any side effects other than slight tenderness where the needle was given. She is now 15 and there has been no further side effects. I'm glad that there is something I could do to protect my child from some types of cancer.

May I ask what country you live in?

Jump to this post

Thank you for your response, I live in Trinidad and Tobago, I've decided to hold of on the vaccination for now and when I feel it's time for her to get it, we'll take her to our private Pediatrician rather than having it done at the public health facility.

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