HPV is attributed to about 22,000 cancer cases in men and women in the United States each year. Cancers caused by HPV include: cervical, vaginal, vulvar, anal, penile, base of tongue, tonsil and throat cancer. HPV can also cause other diseases, such as genital warts. Many of these cancers could be prevented with the HPV vaccine. It is important to know that HPV vaccines do not treat or cure cancer; the vaccine is used to prevent or stop certain cancers from occurring.
Who should get the HPV vaccine?
There are two brands of HPV vaccine available in the United States – Cervarix and Gardasil. The vaccine is given in three doses over a six-month period. Both Cervarix and Gardasil are safe for girls age nine to 26. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that all girls between the ages of 11 to 12 receive all three doses and that boys between the ages of 11 to 12 receive the Gardasil brand. It is important for children to receive all three doses before they become sexually active.
For more information about HPV vaccines, please talk with your primary care physician or pediatrician. Agnesian HealthCare offers free HPV vaccines for females between the ages of 15 and 44 that meet income guidelines. For more information on free HPV vaccines, call Agnesian HealthCare’s Samaritan Health Clinic at (920) 926-4841.