Why Get The HPV Vaccine?

22 01 2013

HPV is short for human papillomavirus. About 20 million people in the United States, most in their teens and early 20s, are infected with HPV.

Not only does HPV cause almost all cervical cancers in women, it’s also responsible for other types of cancer.  HPV causes mouth and throat cancer, as well as anal cancer in both women and men.

HPV can cause cancers of the vulva and vagina in women, and cancer of the penis in men. In the United States each year, there are about 18,000 women and 7,000 men affected by HPV-related cancers.

Most of the HPV infections that cause these cancers could be prevented with vaccination.

HPV-related cancers can be devastating, as Jacquelyn, a cancer survivor and mother of two preschoolers, attests.

Soon after her second child was born, Jacquelyn was diagnosed with cervical cancer and needed a total hysterectomy.  “My husband and I had been together for 15 years, and we were planning to have more children—that isn’t going to happen now,” says Jacquelyn.

Although they caught Jacquelyn’s cervical cancer early, she still has medical appointments that take time away from her family, friends and work. “Every time the doctor calls, I hold my breath until I get the results. Cancer is always in the back of my mind.”

HPV vaccines offer the greatest health benefits to individuals who receive all three doses before having any type of sexual activity. That’s why HPV vaccination is recommended for preteen girls and boys at age 11 or 12 years.

The connection between vaccinating kids now to protect them from cancer later isn’t lost on Jacquelyn.  “I will protect my son and daughter by getting them the HPV vaccine as soon as they each turn 11.  I tell everyone to get their children the HPV vaccine series to protect them from these kinds of cancers.”

HPV vaccines are given in a series of 3 shots over 6 months.  It is very important to complete all 3 shots to get the best protection. More than 46 million doses of HPV vaccine have been given out, and vaccine studies continue to show that HPV vaccines are safe.

If your son or daughter hasn’t started or finished the HPV vaccine series yet—it’s not too late! Now is a good time to ask their doctor or nurse about vaccines for your preteens and teens. Visit www.cdc.gov/hpv  to learn more about HPV and HPV vaccines.

By the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention





Dr. Mary Beth – HPV in Boys

30 06 2011

Listen Now!

Right-click here to download podcast (4 mins/1.5 MB)





HPV and Pregnancy

14 04 2010

For most women, HPV (human papillomavirus) is an infection that comes and goes without sign or symptom.

For some women, it’s a horrible infection that causes cervical cancer.

Treatments for cervical cancer depend on many variables, including what stage of cancer one has.

Some of these treatments attempt to preserve fertility while maintaining high survival rates. Two such treatments are:

  • Conization – removing abnormal areas of the cervix (also known as a cone biopsy)
  • Trachelectomy – removing part or all of the cervix

These treatments may affect the cervix in such a way that it could be more difficult to become pregnant or carry a pregnancy to full term, but they are still considered to be “fertility-preserving therapy” because other procedures are even more likely to affect fertility and pregnancy.

About the only way to prevent HPV infection is to have only one intimate partner during your lifetime, but that partner has to also have only one intimate partner—you. If that sounds unlikely to you, there are vaccines available that can reduce your chances of getting HPV (and therefore cervical cancer)—check with your doctor to see if it’s a good choice for you.

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CDC’s Pre-teen Vaccine Campaign!

13 11 2009

CDC wants folks to know about these educational materials, so we’re doing the viral thing and passing this blurb along.  Hope you do the same:

Pre-teens Need Vaccination Too!

With school in full swing and winter just around the corner, now is a great time for parents of 11 and 12 year olds to get their kids vaccinated against serious diseases such as whooping cough, meningitis, influenza, and, for girls, cervical cancer.

CDC recommends that pre-teens should receive the following:
• Tdap vaccine – combined protection against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis
• Meningococcal  vaccine  – protection against meningitis and its complications
• Seasonal and H1N1 flu vaccines – protection against seasonal and H1N1 influenza viruses
• For girls, HPV vaccines to protect against the two types of human papillomavirus that cause up to 70% of cervical cancers. Each year, almost 4,000 women in the U.S. die of cervical cancer.

These recommendations are supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the Society for Adolescent Medicine.

One of two available HPV vaccines also protects against warts in the genital area, and boys and men up through age 26 can get this vaccine.

CDC’s Pre-teen Vaccine Campaign has educational materials tailored for various audiences, including Caucasian, African-American, Hispanic, Asian American, and Native American parents, available in English, Spanish, Korean, and Vietnamese.

Visit the Pre-teen Vaccine Campaign gallery to download or order materials at NO COST.

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Gardasil Label Revised

12 06 2009

This week, the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) revised Gardasil’s label.

Gardasil is a vaccine to prevent certain cancers and genital warts caused by some types of human papillomavirus (HPV).

The change is in the warnings and precautions section.  It indicates that those who’ve received the vaccine may faint and sometimes will have “tonic-clonic” (jerking) movements and seizure-like activity.

Some women and girls faint after they get this vaccine and when they do, they drop where they stand.  This has caused injuries.

When you get the vaccine, stay seated or lay down for several minutes in case you’re one of the few who faint upon receipt of the vaccine.

It’s not thought that an ingredient in this particular vaccine is causing fainting.  People faint with other meds, vaccines and under a host of other circumstances.

The FDA website has more on this label change.  Info about fainting following vaccination can be found in the MMWR and the revised Gardasil package insert can be found online as well.





Christine Baze’s Yellow Umbrella!

21 05 2009

Christine Baze talks about being a cervical cancer survivor and saving the “hooch!”

Christine Savin' the Hooch!

Christine Savin' the Hooch!

 

www.theyellowumbrella.org

Listen now!

Right-click here to download podcast (12mb/25min)





Keep Our Kids Safe

5 05 2009

Abstaining from sex is a good way not to get a sexually transmitted infection.

To get through life without any such infections, there are two choices: never have sex – ever, or never have sex except with a partner who has never had sex with anyone else, and never will.

give them the info they need to stay safe

give them the info they need to stay safe

As parents, it’s hard for us to think about our children growing up and becoming intimate with anyone, but, giving them narrow choices such as are described above is risky.  Most of our teens and young adults want to heed our wishes and even, occasionally, our rules, but there are few perfectly obedient people in this world.

Rather than risking our children’s lives by assuming they will only do as we say, the safer choice seems to be arming our children with as much knowledge about disease prevention as possible, while continuing to share our values and beliefs.

To protect them, we tell them what we want, what we expect, and why, but we include the information they need to stay as safe as possible, should they make risky choices.  Better they know how to have safe sex but not need the information, than need the info and not have it.