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Should teen girls get HPV vaccine?

Published On: Aug 31 2012 12:34:32 PM CDT
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(NewsUSA) - HPV vaccination is recommended for preteen girls and boys at age 11 or 12 years. 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 preteen and teen.

HPV is short for human papillomavirus. In the U.S. each year, there are about 18,000 women and 7,000 men affected by HPV-related cancers. In both women and men, HPV can cause anal cancer and mouth/throat (oropharyngeal) cancer. It can also cause cancers of the cervix, vulva and vagina in women; and cancer of the penis in men. Many of these cancers could be prevented with vaccination.

The HPV vaccine has a very good safety record. More than 46 million doses have been distributed, and vaccine safety studies continue to show that HPV vaccines are safe.

A Mother's Tale

Jacquelyn, a mother of two and cervical cancer survivor, shares her story:

"When I got a Pap test after my son was born, I found out I had cancer and needed a total hysterectomy.

"My husband and I have been together for 15 years, and we were planning to have more children. We are so grateful for our two wonderful children, but we were hoping for more -- which is not going to happen now.

"Although they caught the cancer early, I still have medical issues taking time away from my family, my friends and my job.

Worse, every time the doctor calls, I hold my breath until I get the results. Cancer is always in the back of my mind.

"I will protect my son and daughter by getting them both the HPV vaccine as soon as they turn 11. I tell everyone to get their children the HPV vaccine series to protect them from this kind of cancer."

For more information about the HPV vaccine and the other vaccines recommended for preteens, visit: www.cdc.gov/vaccines/who/teens/for-parents.html.

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