Friday, July 31, 2015

If you could protect your child from cancer with a vaccine, would you have them get it?

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH) viruses such as Epstein-Barr, HPV, Hepatitis B and Herpes Virus-8 can cause cancer.   Most parents have no problem having their child vaccinated for Hep B but many parents struggle with the HPV vaccine.   

Statistically, one out of every 2 teens is sexually active. Every 20 minutes of every day someone is diagnosed with an HPV related cancer! 6 million HPV infections are diagnosed every year with the vast majority being found in young people.    The vaccine can be given as young as 9 years of age but is recommended between 11 and 12.  Antibodies in the vaccine are more robust in children of that age then those who are 16 years and older.  It is important for kids to get the vaccine before they become sexually active to prevent infections.  If they are already active and have a virus, the vaccine will not treat that virus.

There are more than 40 types of the HPV virus which can be transmitted through sexual contact. The majority of sexually active people are infected with at least one type of HPV virus during their lifetimes. Boys are not immune. They can have the virus or transmit it to their partner.

HPV has been found to be involved in many types of cancers:  cervical, penile, vaginal, vulvar, anal and oral.  Not too long ago the actor Michael Douglas declared he was treated for an oral cancer linked to sexual activity.

Studies on the vaccine have shown that it prevents 97% of genital warts in girls and 87% in boys if they receive the full 3 doses of the vaccine.   Having at least one dose reduces the risk by 67% and the full dose of HPV vaccine reduces cervical cancer by nearly 100%!

We all know someone who has been affected by cancer.  We ALL want a cure.  While the cure isn’t here yet, we can prevent and protect our kids from certain cancers in life by just getting them vaccinated.

We strongly recommend that your 11 or 12 year old child be vaccinated to protect them from Human Papilloma Virus

If you are feeling uneasy about having your child vaccinated, some of your concerns may be addressed at:

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